A Grand Rapids police officer who shot and killed a black driver during a traffic check last spring had no justification to pull him over, according to attorneys for the victim’s family, who filed a federal civil rights complaint Wednesday.
According to Detroit-based lawyer Ven Johnson and civil rights attorney Ben Crump, Christopher Schurr, who was dismissed by the police department after being charged with second-degree murder in the April 4 shooting of Patrick Lyoya.
The traffic stop and portions of the subsequent battle between Schurr and Lyoya were filmed by Schurr’s patrol car’s dashboard camera and his body camera.
According to Schurr’s bodycam footage, after pulling over Lyoya, he informed him that the license plate on his automobile did not match the vehicle.
Lyoya, 26, raced towards Schurr and then struggled with him across a front yard before being shot at point blank range by the cop. The incident was captured on tape by a passenger in Lyoya’s automobile.
According to the footage, Schurr repeatedly instructed Lyoya to remove his hands from the officer’s Taser throughout the battle. The Congolese refugee was slain while on the ground.
During Schurr’s preliminary examination in October, Schurr’s attorney, Matt Borgula, contended that the officer was protecting himself and that Lyoya would not back down.
Crump stated at a media briefing to proclaim the lawsuit that designates Schurr and Michigan’s second-largest city as defendants, “When you take driving while black plus excessive force, you end up with Patrick Lyoya being unjustly executed by this Grand Rapids police officer.”
The case, which seeks $100 million in damages, accuses Schurr of employing unneeded, unlawful, and unreasonable force against Lyoya, as well as exhibiting gross carelessness. It also claims that the town’s police use-of-force policies are flawed and contributed significantly to Lyoya’s death.