GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (mocsnews.com)–On Thursday Officer Christopher Schurr was charged with second-degree murder after fatally shooting Patrick Lyoya during a traffic stop.
This shooting took place in April after Lyoya reached for the officer’s taser. The body cam footage shows the beginning of the traffic stop and the moment when Lyoya reaches for the taser but cuts out right before Officer Schurr shot him in the head.
During the trial, the prosecutor said, “The death was not justified or excused, for example, by self defense.”
The Lyoya family lawyer Ben Crump agreed with the murder charge stating that it held Schurr accountable for his actions.
On the other side of the court room, the defense called the shooting “an unfortunate accident.”
In a written statement from Matt Borgula and Mark Dodge argued that Lyoya had “full control of the officer’s weapon while resisting arrest.”
However, this was not enough for the Kent County prosecutor Chris Becker to find Schurr not guilty.
Becker’s decision came after looking at evidence for six weeks. This evidence included the toxicology report, forensics, and the results from the Michigan State Police investigation.
“This is not a quick decision I took lightly. I hope it sends the message that we take these cases seriously,” Becker said.
He goes on to state that while people think prosecutors are an arm or branch for police, that they are not.
Becker said, “Our duty is public safety, we work with them but we do not work for them.”
State leaders such as Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel showed support for this decision.
“At the Department of Attorney General, we understand the exceptional resources needed to evaluate police-involved shooting deaths and I commend Prosecutor Becker, his team and the Michigan State Police for the exhaustive review conducted these last two months,” Nessel said. “We must now respect the judicial process and allow the facts of the case to be presented in court.”
Officer Schurr has turned himself before his arraignment on Friday where Becker will be trying the case, stating that he stands by the decision he has made.
With the charge of second-degree murder, Schurr can face life in prison.