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Grand Rapids Community Protests Against Police Department Over Officer Shooting That Killed Patrick Lyoya

Source: Scott Olson / Getty

Justice is finally en route for one of the many Black people killed at the hands of police.

Grand Rapids police officer Christopher Schurr has been fired for fatally shooting a Black man named Patrick Lyoya in the back of the head while kneeling on his body.

The firing comes days after Schurr was charged with second-degree murder for killing the 26-year-old. However, after the  April 4, 2022 shooting, Schurr was initially placed on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

He’s jobless officially as of June 10 because of a recommendation made by Mark Washington –the Grand Rapids city manager– after he waived his right to a discharge hearing.

“Due to the ongoing criminal matter and the potential for civil litigation, I will not be providing any additional comment concerning Mr. Schurr at this time,” Washington said in a statement.

Though he pleaded not guilty during his arraignment on Friday, if found guilty, he could face up to life in prison.

The Grand Rapids Police Officer’s Association has defended Schurr in the wake of the shooting, citing that he had the right to use deadly force if he felt his life was threatened.

“As tragic as this case is all the way around, we feel a thorough review of this entire situation will show that a police officer has the legal right to protect themselves and community in a volatile dangerous situation such as this, in order to return to his/her family at the end of their shift,” the association said in a statement in April.