Apr 19, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Michigan police chief names officer who fatally shot Patrick Lyoya

Activists gathered and marched during a protest against the killing of Patrick Lyoya, who was killed by a Grand Rapids police officer during a traffic stop on April 4, 2022 in Grand Rapids, Michigan,
Activists gather during a protest against the killing of Patrick Lyoya in Grand Rapids, Mich. Photo: Katie McTiernan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Grand Rapids' Police Chief on Monday identified the police officer who fatally shot Patrick Lyoya, a Black man, during a traffic stop earlier this month, AP reports.

Driving the news: "In the interest of transparency, to reduce ongoing speculation, and to avoid any further confusion, I am confirming the name already publicly circulating — Christopher Schurr — as the officer involved in the April 4 officer-involved shooting," police chief Eric Winstrom said in a statement, per AP.

  • Lyoya's family and Black leaders had urged the department to identify the officer responsible for the shooting. Winstrom had previously said he would not do so unless the officer is charged with a crime.

Catch up quick: Lawyers said last week that an independent autopsy showed that Lyoya was fatally shot in the back of the head by a Michigan police officer after a traffic stop earlier this month.

  • The independent autopsy appeared to match what was shown in videos released publicly earlier this month. The videos showed the unidentified Michigan police officer lying on the back of Lyoya, 26, before he fatally shot him in the head.
  • "This independent autopsy report confirms what we all witnessed in the horrifying video footage: Unarmed Patrick Lyoya was conscious until the bullet entered his head, instantly ending what could have been a long and fruitful life," attorney Ben Crump said, AP reports.
  • The independent autopsy was performed by Dr. Werner Spitz, a former Detroit-area medical examiner.
  • "The only injury on this body was a typical bullet wound of entrance," Spitz said during a press briefing on Tuesday.

The big picture: Lyoya's death sparked outrage from his family and others who watched the video.

  • "My heart is broken to see an officer being on top of my son and to shoot him in the back of his head, my heart is really broken," Peter Lyoya, Patrick's father, said, Reuters reports. "I'm asking for justice for Patrick."
  • The videos released last week showed an unidentified police officer and Lyoya wrestling on the ground in the moments before the shooting, appearing to be fighting for control of the officer's Taser.

Go deeper ... Videos show Michigan police officer fatally shooting Black man

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include news that the Grand Rapids' Police Department has named the police officer who shot Lyoya.

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