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Michigan prosecutor to say if officer will face charges in Black man's killing

Michigan prosecutor to say if officer will face charges in Black man's killing

reuters.com · 06/09/2022 12:06
Michigan prosecutor to say if officer will face charges in Black man's killing

By Brendan O'Brien

- A Michigan prosecutor on Thursday will announce whether a white police officer will face criminal charges for shooting and killing a Black man during a traffic stop in Grand Rapids two months ago.

Christopher Becker, the Kent County prosecuting attorney, will hold a news conference at 3 p.m. EST to announce if charges are forthcoming against Officer Christopher Schurr in the April 4 death of Patrick Lyoya, a 26-year-old Congolese refugee.

The killing outraged members of Lyoya's family and they have demanded that prosecutors bring charges against Becker. It touched off protests by activists who say the shooting was an example of unjustified police violence against young Black men. nL2N2WC22X

A forensic pathologist who performed an independent autopsy on Lyoya said the officer held his gun to the back of the man's head and fired once.

Kent County Chief Medical Examiner Stephen Cohle said in his autopsy that he found Lyoya had a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit, local media reported.

Police released videos of the incident showing Lyoya stepping out of the car on a rainy street, seemingly confused and asking "What did I do?" as the policeman repeatedly asks for a driver's license and orders him to get back inside the vehicle.

Lyoya appeared to be complying, but then closes the car door and attempts to walk away, resisting the officer's attempts to handcuff him. Following a short foot chase, the two men grapple on a lawn, at one point fighting over the officer's stun gun, before Lyoya is shot.

The incident began after the officer stopped Lyoya over suspicions involving the vehicle's license plate.


(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Chicago; Editing by David Gregorio)

((brendan.obrien@thomsonreuters.com;))