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Activists demand officer Christopher Schurr be charged in Lyoya's death

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(Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP)
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(Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP)
Peter and Dorcas Lyoya, parents of Patrick Lyoya, march with their family and supporters wearing all black on Thursday, April 21, 2022 for a rally at the Capitol in Lansing, Mich. to demand justice in the police shooting that took the life of Patrick Lyoya, a Congolese immigrant.

Grand Rapids Police Department identified Officer Christopher Schurr Monday

After weeks of activists demanding the name of the officer who killed Patrick Lyoya, the Grand Rapids Police Department has identified Officer Christopher Schurr as the man who fatally shot the Congolese refugee in the back of the head during a traffic stop on April 4th.

GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom disclosed Schurr’s identity in a press release Monday afternoon stating “In the interest of transparency, to reduce on-going speculation, and to avoid any further confusion.” Winstrom also confirmed Schurr’s name was already circulating.

During a protest Saturday, activists hung “wanted” posters featuring Schurr’s face and name. Activist Daevionne Smith demanding Kent County Prosecuting Attorney, Christopher Becker, file charges against the officer who killed Lyoya.

“You’re a prosecutor. Your job is to make sure the law is uphold, and if anybody breaks it, no matter if they’re a police officer no matter if they are a regular civilian,” he said.

Pressure for Becker continued to mount in a Facebook post Monday afternoon from the local group Black Activists United. It shared a photo of Schurr saying in part,
“Now that we know the truth that means it’s time for Chris Becker to do what’s right and charge him for the murder of Patrick Lyoya. We will not stop fighting until justice is served.”

By law, no charges can be filed until the Michigan State Police conclude its investigation into the incident. Becker will review its findings and determine whether to charge Schurr.

Officer Schurr remains on administrative leave, stripped on his police powers until that investigation concludes as well as a GRPD Internal Affairs Investigation.

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