Grand Rapids cop who shot Patrick Lyoya charged with murder

Grand Rapids, Michigan - Christopher Schnurr, the cop who shot 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya in the back of the head in Grand Rapids, has been charged with second-degree murder.

Protesters rally in front of the Michigan State Capitol to demand accountability after the police killing of Patrick Lyoya.
Protesters rally in front of the Michigan State Capitol to demand accountability after the police killing of Patrick Lyoya.  © SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

County Prosecutor Christopher Becker announced the verdict on Thursday.

"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," he said at a press conference, according to Vice. "It is my understanding that an arraignment will take place sometime tomorrow."

Schnurr could face a life sentence, with a possibility of parole, after fatally shooting Lyoya, a Black man, during a routine traffic stop.

The police killing was captured on video and sparked a wave of protests in the city.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump to represent victim's family

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who will represent the family, said in a statement, "We are encouraged by attorney Christopher Becker's decision to charge Christopher Schurr for the brutal killing of Patrick Lyoya, which we all witnessed when the video footage was released to the public."

"While the road to justice for Patrick and his family has just begun, this decision is a crucial step in the right direction," he continued. "Officer Schnurr must be held accountable for his decision to pursue an unarmed Patrick, ultimately shooting him in the back of the head and killing him – for nothing more than a traffic stop."

Lyoya, a father of two, had fled violence the Democratic Republic of the Congo and sought refuge in the United States in 2014, settling in Grand Rapids.

Cover photo: SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

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