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Criminal Justice & Legal System

GRPD releases name of officer who shot Patrick Lyoya

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Grand Rapids Police Department
Video captured by Christopher Schurr's dash cam showed Schurr talking to Patrick Lyoya shortly after he pulled him over.

The Grand Rapids Police Department has named the officer who shot and killed 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya after a struggle that followed a traffic stop earlier this month.

Police Chief Eric Winstrom identified the officer Monday as Christopher Schurr, a 7-year veteran of the force.

Schurr is white. Lyoya was Black.

Lawyers for the Lyoya family said last week that an independent autopsy confirmed what they saw in videos of the April 4 encounter: Schurr shot Lyoya in the back of the head while Lyoya was on the ground with the officer on top of him.

Lyoya's family and their attorneys, as well as nationally known civil rights leaders, have been calling for police to identify Schurr for weeks, including at Lyoya's funeral last Friday.

Winstrom had said that he would not identify the officer until the Michigan State Police had finished its investigation into the shooting.

He reversed course Monday, saying he was releasing Schurr's name "in the interest of transparency, to reduce on-going speculation, and to avoid any further confusion."

The Lyoya family's legal team was not impressed.

Taking three weeks to release the officer's name was "offensive and the exact opposite of being ‘transparent,'" said attorney Ven Johnson in an emailed statement.

Grand Rapids police said Schurr remains on paid leave, stripped of his police powers, while the investigation continues.

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