On Thursday, a preliminary hearing was held for the Grand Rapids police officer who has been charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Patrick Lyoya.
Christopher Schurr, a seven-year member of the Grand Rapids Police Department, will be charged with Lyoya’s murder if there is reasonable cause, which will be established by the evidence given during the preliminary hearing. A trial by jury could proceed if probable cause is shown.
At his arraignment, Schurr entered a not guilty plea.
On video from his body camera, Schurr can be heard telling Lyoya to “get in the car.” Nine days after the incident, the footage was made public.
After asking Lyoya if he spoke English, Schurr can be heard wanting to see Lyoya’s driver’s license. From what we can see from the footage, Lyoya turned to a passenger in the car, locked the door, and began to walk away from Schurr.
Lyoya bolted forward. According to the footage, Schurr seized Lyoya and wrestled with him before forcing him to the ground while yelling “Stop resisting,” “Let go,” and “Drop the Taser.” Police said the body camera was turned off during the altercation.
During the confrontation, Lyoya allegedly tried to take Schurr’s stun gun. Cellphone footage shows that when Lyoya was on the ground, Schurr shot him.
Aime Tuiishme, a friend of Lyoya’s, caught the moment Schurr shot Lyoya in the back of the head on cell phone video. An independent autopsy report and the Kent County medical examiner both confirmed that a single gunshot was responsible for the fatality.
On Thursday, Wayne Butler, a local resident, testified in court about the incident, calling it a “wrestling match” and pointing out that Lyoya wasn’t “on the offensive.”
In June, Schurr was let go from the Grand Rapids Police Department without a hearing because he had previously waived his right to one.