News

Grand Rapids NAACP branch lists demands after police name officer who killed Lyoya

NAACP Grand Rapids President Cle Jackson
Posted at 8:45 PM, Apr 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-26 20:45:37-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WXMI) — The Greater Grand Rapids NAACP hosted a press conference Tuesday afternoon to release a list of demands after the police department released the name of the officer who shot and killed Patrick Lyoya.

NAACP President Cle Jackson says he’s met with the community’s religious leaders and the organization’s national leadership. He released a list of demands related to the deadly April 4 shooting.

During the press conference, Jackson called on Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker to recuse himself, citing Becker as a conflict of interest in the case. He also requests that Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom fire the officer involved in Lyoya's death and to initiate the decertification process, so that the officer can no longer serve as a police officer in the state of Michigan.

Jackson also called on Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to assume full control of the investigation, claiming she has the ability to step in at any moment.

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker released the following statement in response to the press conference:

"The Kent County Prosecutor’s Office must recuse itself from a case if there is 'a conflict of interest.' MCL 49.160. A conflict of interest exists where the prosecutor has a prior attorney-client relationship with the person, or where the prosecutor has a personal interest (financial or emotional) in the litigation, or has some personal relationship (kinship, friendship, or animosity) with the accused or other party. People v Doyle, 159 Mich App 632, 641 (1987). Because I do not know Officer Christopher Schurr, nor did I know Patrick Lyoya, the legal standard for recusal has not been met. I will continue to follow the law regarding this investigation, and I will wait for the report from the Michigan State Police to review the case in light of the law and the facts."

A spokesperson for the Michigan attorney general says "(the case) must be referred" before Nessel can take over the investigation.

A statement from Nessel reads:

"It is my expectation that the Grand Rapids Police Department will fully cooperate with the Michigan State Police in their investigation and that the local prosecutor will perform a thorough analysis of the facts and law that apply in this case. Normal protocol dictates the case is delivered to the local prosecutor. I stand ready to accept a referral of the case, should the Kent County Prosecutor determine the expertise of my department is warranted.”

Monday, Winstrom identified the officer as Christopher Schurr.

The Grand Rapids Police Department says Schurr was placed on administrative leave following the shooting.

Schurr with background.JPG

GRPD said the deadly shooting after what police described as a “lengthy struggle.”

After a struggle over the officer’s Taser that lasted approximately 90 seconds, the officer shot Lyoya once in the head.

Cell phone footage from a witness shows the officer shooting Lyoya in the head after telling him to let go of the taser.

GRPD says Schurr has been with the department since 2015 and was working alone at the time of the shooting.

Since then, protesters have gathered across the state to voice their frustrations. Civil rights Attorney Ben Crump and the Lyoya family are calling for the officer who shot Patrick to be fired and charged.