A police officer arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a black man at a traffic stop has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges.
Christopher Schurr, 31, is accused of shooting and killing Patrick Lyoya, a 26-year-old fugitive from the Democratic Republic of Congo, after an altercation at a traffic stop in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
In Michigan, the second-degree murder charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Schurr appeared on Friday via video link from the county jail in an orange jumpsuit for his arraignment.
Lyoya’s family approved the charges against Schurr.
“We firmly believed that there was no justice in America to this day,” Lyoya’s father, Peter, told reporters. “What I want is final justice for my son.”
An autopsy performed on Lyoya revealed that Schurr killed him with a shot in the back of the head.
Ben Crump, an attorney for Lyoya’s family, called the encounter “an execution.” Crump, a civil rights attorney, has represented the families of many high-profile police shootings, including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.
“The death was not justified or excused, such as by self-defense,” Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said Monday.
In a video released in April, Lyoya can be seen in front of his car and asks, “What have I done?” He started walking after Schurr repeatedly asked him for his driver’s license. Lyoya had been driving with a suspended driver’s license.
Schurr caught up with Lyoya and fought him on the ground. At one point, Lyoya appeared to reach for Schurr’s taser.
Schurr wore a body camera, but it was removed before she could capture the shooting. Much of the incident was captured on phones by bystanders.
Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom said he would recommend Schurr be fired. Schurr has been on leave since the shooting.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/11/cop-pleads-not-guilty-of-second-degree-murder-for-shooting-black-man-16808990/ Cop pleads not guilty to second-degree murder for shooting dead black man