On Thursday (June 9), Kent County prosecuting attorney Christopher Becker announced his decision to charge Christopher Schurr, the officer who killed the 26-year-old Black man, with one count of second-degree murder.
Becker previously said that he consulted with experts to determine whether Schurr acted unlawfully when using deadly force during Lyoya's April 4 arrest, according to the New York Times.
A few weeks following the shooting, footage released of the fatal incident sparked outrage across the nation and demands for the officer to be prosecuted.
“Patrick Lyoya immigrated to the United States from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to pursue the American dream and provide a better and safer life for himself and his family,” Lyoya family lawyer Ben Crump said at the time of the video release. “Instead, what found him was a fatal bullet to the back of the head, delivered by an officer of the Grand Rapids Police Department.”
According to Grand Rapids Police, Lyoya was pulled over on April 4 for having license plates that didn't match his vehicle. Video shows Lyoya exiting his car and appearing confused as the Schurr tells him to get back into the vehicle.
After Lyoya asked the cop "What did I do wrong?" the two engaged in a brief conversation about whether the 26-year-old had a driver's license.
Per the video, Officer Schurr suddenly grabbed Lyoya, and he responded by running away from the cop.
Schurr proceeded to tackle Lyoya while yelling "stop," and Lyoya then reached for the taser in the officer's hand.
In the video, the cop can be heard yelling "let go of the taser" right before he opened fire and killed Lyoya, who can be seen face to the ground moments before the shooting.
Crump told ABC News at the time of the shooting, “He’s on his hands and knees facing away from the officer. There are so many other things the officer could have done instead of pulling his gun out and shooting him in the back of the head."
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