Police Brutality

Michigan Cop Charged With Murder In Lyoya's Death Is Fired

Officer Christopher Schurr waived his right to a hearing after being charged in Patrick Lyoya's murder after a traffic stop on April 4.

A TV display shows video evidence of a Grand Rapids police officer struggling with and shooting Patrick Lyoya
Grand Rapids Police Department / AP

A Michigan police officer charged with murder after shooting Patrick Lyoya in the back of the head has been fired, officials said Wednesday.

Christopher Schurr, a Grand Rapids officer for seven years, waived his right to a hearing and was dismissed, effective last Friday, said City Manager Mark Washington.

Schurr's dismissal was recommended by police Chief Eric Winstrom after a second-degree murder charge was filed Thursday.

Washington declined further comment, noting the criminal case and a likely lawsuit over Lyoya's death.

Schurr's attorney, Matt Borgula, said he wasn't representing the officer in the labor matter and had no comment.

Lyoya, a Black man, was killed at the end of a traffic stop on April 4. He ran and physically resisted Schurr after failing to produce a driver's license.

Schurr, who is white, claimed Lyoya had control of his Taser when he shot him. Defense lawyers said the officer feared for his safety.

The confrontation and shooting were recorded on video. Schurr, 31, had been on leave while state police investigated the shooting and prosecutor Chris Becker decided whether to pursue charges.

Lyoya's parents had long called for Schurr to be fired.

"Two words: about time. What took so long?" the family's attorney, Ven Johnson, said. "They knew this was excessive force and they put him on paid leave while the family buried their son in the middle of the rain."

Schurr's personnel file shows no complaints of excessive force but much praise for traffic stops and foot chases that led to arrests and the seizure of guns and drugs.

He spent a night in jail before being released on $100,000 bond Friday.

Grand Rapids, population about 200,000, is 160 miles west of Detroit.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

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