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City of Grand Rapids fires officer who killed Patrick Lyoya

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Grand Rapids Police Department
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A screenshot of a police dash cam showing Patrick Lyoya and Grand Rapids Police officer Christopher Schurr moments before Schurr shot Lyoya.

The city of Grand Rapids has fired Christopher Schurr, the police officer who shot and killed Patrick Lyoya. Last week, Kent County prosecutor Chris Becker charged Schurr with second degree murder for the killing, which happened during a traffic stop on April 4. Video footage of the incident shows Lyoya running from Schurr, then a chase and a struggle over Schurr’s taser.

Lyoya was Black, and a refugeee from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Schurr is white.

Video shows Schurr on top of Lyoya, with Lyoya facing down, when Schurr shot him in the back of the head.

Despite being charged with murder, Schurr was still employed by the Grand Rapids Police Department, pending a discharge hearing.

But on Wednesday, Grand Rapids city manager Mark Washington said in a statement that Schurr waived his right to the hearing.

“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,” Washington said, in a statement issued by the city.

Washington said he would offer no more comments on the case because of the pending criminal charges, and the potential for a civil lawsuit.

Dustin Dwyer is a reporter for a new project at Michigan Radio that will look at improving economic opportunities for low-income children. Previously, he worked as an online journalist for Changing Gears, as a freelance reporter and as Michigan Radio's West Michigan Reporter. Before he joined Michigan Radio, Dustin interned at NPR's Talk of the Nation, wrote freelance stories for The Jackson Citizen-Patriot and completed a Reporting & Writing Fellowship at the Poynter Institute.