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Grand Rapids fires police officer involved in fatal shooting of Patrick Lyoya

The city terminated Christopher Schurr, who is also facing criminal charges connected to the deadly encounter.

The city of Grand Rapids terminated the police officer who fatally shot Patrick Lyoya during a traffic stop in April, officials said Wednesday.

City Manager Mark Washington said he acted on a recommendation from the police chief and city's Labor Relations Office to kick Christopher Schurr off the force.

The termination was effective on Friday of last week.

"I accepted that recommendation and scheduled a required discharge hearing," Washington said in a statement. "I have been informed by Mr. Schurr’s representatives that he is waiving his right to the hearing and, therefore, I have decided to terminate Mr. Schurr’s employment with the Grand Rapids Police Department effective June 10, 2022."

The city administrator said he could not offer any further comment due "to the on-going criminal matter and the potential for civil litigation."

A dashcam video shows Patrick Lyoya, 26, after a Grand Rapids, Mich., police officer pulled him over April 4 over an unregistered license plate. The video was blurred by police.
A dashcam video shows Patrick Lyoya, 26, after a Grand Rapids, Mich., police officer pulled him over April 4 over an unregistered license plate. The video was blurred by police.Grand Rapids Police Department via AP

Schurr has been charged with second-degree murder, Kent County prosecutor Chris Becker said, following the office's review of forensic and toxicology reports from the April 4 confrontation when the officer pulled over Lyoya, who came to the U.S. as a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2014.

Schurr told Lyoya, 26, that he had stopped him because the license plate didn’t match the vehicle, according to police video released shortly after Lyoya’s death. 

Four videos, including from a dashcam and a cellphone, showed Lyoya and Schurr struggling on the ground, with Lyoya apparently trying to take control of the officer’s stun gun. The officer ended up restraining Lyoya with his knee to his back and ultimately shot him as he was facedown on the ground. 

His death sparked a string of protests in Grand Rapids, with hundreds demanding justice and transparency from city and police officials. 

A lawyer for Schurr could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday.