GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Three and half weeks after Patrick Lyoya was shot and killed by a Grand Rapids police officer, the case is in the hands of the Kent County prosecutor, but he says he needs more information before he can make a decision.
Michigan State Police detectives, who handled the investigation into the April 4 shooting, said they passed off their report to Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker Thursday afternoon.
MSP noted that its investigation is ongoing because it is awaiting forensic reports from the manufacturer of the officer’s body camera and Taser. Once those come in, they will also go to the prosecutor.
Becker said he needs that information before making a decision.
“While I appreciate the continued work of the Michigan State Police on this incident, as they note in their press release, they have submitted an incomplete report. I will begin to review the materials they have gathered at this time; but I cannot, and will not, make a final decision until they submit all the necessary information.”Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker
It is Becker’s job to decide whether Officer Chris Schurr was justified in shooting Lyoya or whether charges are warranted. There is no timeline for when that might happen.
The shooting happened after Schurr pulled Lyoya over. Video released by the Grand Rapids Police Department shows Lyoya ran away from Schurr and there was a struggle that included Lyoya grabbing Schurr’s Taser. Schurr, who was on top of Lyoya trying to hold him down, ultimately shot Lyoya in the back of the head.
The manufacturer’s information about the Taser could be important because of its role in the struggle.
Attorneys for Lyoya’s family, as well as community activists, have called for Schurr to be fired and charged. The union that represents Schurr said it is confident the investigation will show Schurr had the right to defend himself.
There have also been calls for Becker to recuse himself, with the local NAACP saying there is an inherent conflict of interest because his office works so closely with GRPD. Becker said that because he doesn’t know Schurr or Lyoya, there is no conflict. He does not intend to recuse himself.
The MSP investigation and Becker’s decision are separate from GRPD’s internal investigation into what happened. Chief Eric Winstrom previously said he would not make any decisions about Schurr’s employment until he saw the MSP investigation.