GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Attorneys for the family of Patrick Lyoya are asking a federal judge to reconsider his decision to remove the city of Grand Rapids from their civil lawsuit.
Judge Paul Maloney decided in August to remove the city from the lawsuit. He said that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate a link between Officer Christopher Schurr killing Lyoya in 2022 and allegations of racial discrimination by the city and that the city failed to properly train its police officers.
In a motion filed Thursday, Lyoya’s family’s attorneys argued they did provide evidence of causation and restate their argument, namely that nearly all Grand Rapids police officers accused of excessive force are cleared and a previous study that found Black drivers were more likely than white drivers to be pulled over in Grand Rapids.
They asked the judge to reverse his decision or, at least, allow them to file an updated complaint that would be considered again. The motion noted the judge made his decision without hearing oral arguments and before either side went through the discovery process.
Maloney in August decided not to toss the lawsuit against Schurr. Filed in December, it alleges Schurr violated Lyoya’s Fourth Amendment protections against excessive force and of gross negligence and willful and wanton misconduct under state law.
No one disputes that Schurr shot and killed Lyoya on April 4, 2022, during a traffic stop in Grand Rapids. Video from the traffic stop shows Lyoya run away from Schurr and the two struggle over Schurr’s Taser. Ultimately, Schurr, who was on top of Lyoya trying to hold him down, shot him in the back of the head.
Schurr has been charged with second-degree murder. The Michigan Court of Appeals heard arguments earlier this month about whether the criminal case should go forward; its decision is pending.