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Police Officer Charged With Second-Degree Murder in Lyoya Killing

Christopher Schurr, a Grand Rapids, Mi., police officer who fatally shot Patrick Lyoya in the back of the head on April 4. has been charged with one count of second-degree murder, the Detroit Free Press reports. Because second-degree murder is a felony, Schurr could face a life prison sentence with the possibility of parole. Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said the second-degree murder charge was the most severe possible. There was not any indication of premeditation from Schurr, which prevented a first-degree murder charge. Schurr turned himself in. He is likely to be tried in Kent County. “I wouldn’t charge it if I didn’t think I could prove it,” Becker said.

Lyoya, who was 26, was a Congolese refugee. His death led to protests in Grand Rapids, Detroit and elsewhere over the police department’s treatment of the city’s Black residents and prompted discussions over the city’s commitment to racial equity, something it had pledged to improve after racial injustice protests in 2020. Schurr, who had been with the Grand Rapids Police since 2015, was placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting. Police Chief Eric Winstrom has said he would recommend Schurr's suspension without pay pending termination. Schurr is entitled to an employment hearing under city policy.


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