Michigan: A white policeman charged with the murder of a black man

A Michigan prosecutor says a white police officer has been charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting a black man during a traffic stop two months ago. The incident happened in Grand Rapids.

Kent County District Attorney Christopher Becker announced the decision to charge Christopher Schurr (police officer) with murder at a press conference. Schurr is charged with the murder of Patrick Lyoya, a 26-year-old Congolese refugee.

Lyoya’s family protested his murder which was recorded in the body camera Schurr was carrying. Lyoya’s killing also sparked protests from activists who condemned the shooting as an example of unwarranted lethal force by police against young black men.

“We have a duty to enforce the law, whether it’s to the police or to the public,” Becker, the Kent County prosecutor, told reporters.

Prominent civil rights lawyer Ben Crump hailed the decision to charge Schurr with second-degree murder.

“As the road to justice for Patrick and his family has just begun, this decision is a critical step in the right direction,” Crump said. He was quoted by AFP.

“Officer Schurr must be held accountable for his decision to pursue an unarmed Patrick, ultimately shooting him in the back of the neck and killing him – nothing more than a traffic stop.”

US civil rights leader Al Sharpton spoke at the April funeral of Lyoya, whose family arrived in the US in 2014 from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 10:35pm on Sunday June 19th, 2022