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Community, attorneys react to GRPD naming officer who shot, killed Patrick Lyoya

Christopher Schurr Grand Rapids police officer.jpg
Posted at 11:49 PM, Apr 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-25 23:49:16-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Protest across the state of Michigan have been demanding justice for Patrick Lyoya.

On Sunday, groups were protesting in downtown Detroit. Less than 24 hours later, the Grand Rapids police chief met one of their demands.

Chief Eric Winstrom says Officer Christopher Schurr is the man who shot and killed Lyoya on April 4.

“There is no sense of relief with us. We are focused on fighting for that next stepped, which is for him to be fired and prosecuted,” said Sirrita Darby, the executive director of Detroit Heals Detroit.

She goes on to say, “Now, you guys have the officer’s name. Now, we need we need to further hold you all accountable because they were trying to protect his identity and who he was, but no one was protecting Patrick on that day.”

At Lyoya’s funereal last week, Rev. Al Sharpton stood at the pulpit asking the Grand Rapids Police Department to identify the office.

“How dare you hold the name of a man that killed this man? We want his name,” Sharpton said.

In a statement, Winstrom said he released Schurr’s name “in the interest of transparency, to reduce on-going speculation, and to avoid any further confusion.”

“This is something that should’ve been done three weeks ago,” Ven Johnson said.

Johnson is representing the family of Lyoya along with attorney Ben Crump.

“They released our client’s name the day of the shooting. Our client wasn’t even dead at the time. We all know what it is. What it is, it’s a double standard,” Johnson said.

Defense attorney Sarissa Montague, who has expertise in cases involving police officers, says safety could be a reason why the department didn’t identify him sooner.

“Anytime you have people who are upset about something, it obviously could lead to danger for the people who are involved for sure,” Montague said.

She doesn’t believe police releasing the name will impact the investigation.

“It doesn’t change the criminal aspect to it at all,” Montague said.

Johnson says knowing the name of the officer is a symbol of justice.

“It can be shown to the family that their grief is being taken seriously,” Johnson said.

It’s also a symbol for the people marching and supporting Lyoya.

“We are fighting for Black lives in Grand Rapids, Detroit, nationwide. This is not an isolated incident — this happens all the time across the U.S.,” Darby said.

GRPD says Schurr is on administrative leave and has been stripped of his police powers.