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January 26, 2023
The city of Grand Rapids has fired police officer Christopher Schurr, who fatally shot Patrick Lyoya in an April 4 traffic stop that garnered national headlines and resulted in a second-degree murder charge against Schurr.
Schurr decided to waive his right to a discharge hearing, Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington said in a Wednesday statement. Washington said he made the decision after Schurr waived his right to a discharge hearing.
“…Therefore, I have decided to terminate Mr. Schurr’s employment with the Grand Rapids Police Department effective June 10, 2022,” Washington said. “Due to the on-going criminal matter and the potential for civil litigation, I will not be providing any additional comment concerning Mr. Schurr at this time.”
Schurr’s termination was effective Friday, when Schurr was arraigned on the second-degree murder charge. He pleaded not guilty and was released on a $100,000 bond.
As a condition of pretrial release, Schurr cannot purchase or possess any firearms or dangerous weapons, must remain under the supervision of court services, cannot drink liquor or use any illegal drugs and cannot engage in “any assaultive, threatening or intimidating behavior.”
Schurr killed Lyoya, 26, on the morning of April 4 after pulling him over for what police said was “an improper Michigan registration.” Graphic video released by the police department days later showed Schurr struggling to detain Lyoya and moments later firing one round at the back of Lyoya’s head amid a scuffle with the man.
“Taking a look at everything that I reviewed in this case, I believe there is a sufficient basis to proceed on a single count of second-degree murder, and that charge has been filed with the courts as of today,” Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker told reporters during a June 9 news conference.
Schurr was initially placed on paid leave and stripped of his police powers pending the outcome of the investigation. He was suspended without pay on June 9 after Becker announced his charging decision.
“I hope it sends [the message] that we take these cases seriously,” Becker said at the time. “Everybody thinks the prosecutors are essentially an arm or just a branch of police, and we’re not. We are our own entity [and] we have a duty to enforce the law be it on police or the public.”
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NBC