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The Kent County Prosecutor has declined a request for recusal in the Patrick Lyoya case

Cle Jackson, President Greater Grand Rapids NAACP
Greater Grand Rapids NAACP
Greater Grand Rapids NAACP
Cle Jackson, President Greater Grand Rapids NAACP

WGVU spoke with the President of the Greater Grand Rapids NAACP.

Shortly after the April 4th fatal shooting death of Patrick Lyoya, Cle Jackson, President of the Greater Grand Rapids NAACP, spoke with Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker.

“I didn’t actually say, ‘You need to recuse yourself.’ I said, ‘Are you considering recusing?’ And he said, ‘No. I don’t know why I would?’ So, we just left it there.”

Fast forward to Tuesday, Jackson picked up the phone as a professional courtesy and called Becker asking if he had reconsidered? When Becker responded he had not, the request was made public.

In response, Prosecutor Becker issued a statement that under state law, a county prosecutor must recuse themselves from a case if there’s a conflict of interest. “Because I do not know Officer Christopher Schurr, nor did I know Patrick Lyoya, the legal standard for recusal has not been met.”

“It’s not important to us that he doesn’t have a personal relationship with Patrick Lyoya or this officer. That doesn’t matter. The fact that he has a historical relationship with the Grand Rapids Police Department is very troubling and problematic. That’s what we see. That’s what community sees.”

As an elected official running for office in 2016, Becker received a $1,000 campaign donation from the Grand Rapids Police Officers Association.

Jackson says his organization will now ask the Michigan Attorney General’s office to take the case. If circumstances prohibit involvement, an appeal will be made to the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.
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