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Peaceful protestors continue demands for justice in Grand Rapids

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Patrick Center | WGVU Public Media
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March for Justice along Monroe Center St. NE following 2nd degree murder charge of Grand Rapids Police officer Christopher Schurr.

Following the second-degree murder charge of Grand Rapids Police officer Christopher Schurr, marchers gathered at Grand Rapids Police Department headquarters.

Thursday evening, dozens of peaceful protestors gathered outside City of Grand Rapids Police Department headquarters. Earlier in the day, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker charged Grand Rapids Police officer Christopher Schurr with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 26-year old Congolese Refugee, Patrick Lyoya, during an April traffic stop struggle.

“Second-degree, you know, it’s just a start. But to me it’s really just a slap in the face because my brother’s dead. My brother’s gone.”

Jimmy Barwan is Patrick Lyoya’s cousin. He questions why it took more than two months for the prosecutor to reach his conclusion? While family, friends and people he knows in Congo are happy with the murder charge, it’s only the first step.

“What we’re asking for is justice. And we’re asking for police to be trained more. You know, reform the whole police like making sure that when a cop is doing something that’s not right, he got to be accountable for it.”

Barwan making it clear it’s the police duty to protect everyone in the community.

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Patrick Center | WGVU Public Media
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Peaceful protestors gather in front of Grand Rapids Police Department headquarters demanding justice following 2nd degree murder charge of G.R.P.D. officer Christopher Schurr.

"Any little sliver of justice that we can get is... we have to take that. And we're going to keep applying pressure and we're going to keep fighting because it matters so much."

Naiara Tamminga says change starts now.

"Defund G.R.P.D. and get out here. You're not out here, get out here because this is where the change starts. You want to see a change in your community? This is where the change starts."