GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Thursday, a crowd of supporters and family of Patrick Lyoya held a rally in downtown Grand Rapids ahead of a court hearing next week.

On Sept. 6, the Michigan Court of Appeals will hear arguments in an appeal filed by former GRPD officer Christopher Schurr in an attempt to have his second-degree murder charge thrown out. Schurr was charged in Lyoya’s death after a traffic stop on April 4, 2022.

On Thursday, dozens rallied to say the case should head to trial and they’ll continue to seek justice for Lyoya.

The rally began with a march from Calder Plaza to the Kent County Courthouse. Among those in attendance were civil rights attorney Ben Crump, Lyoya’s family, various community organizers and religious leaders.

Activists said they don’t want people to forget about Lyoya and his death as they await a trial.

“We are going to continue to be out until justice is served. We don’t want to have a lull in support for the family because this is something that they’ve been dealing with every day,” said Cherie Stoll, a member of Grand Rapids Alliance Against Racist and Political Oppression.

Supporters and family of Patrick Lyoya held a rally in downtown Grand Rapids ahead of a court hearing. (Aug. 31, 2023)

Schurr’s attorneys have claimed self-defense and say that Michigan common law gives officers the right to use deadly force against a fleeing felon. 

Crump said he believes the video of the shooting speaks for itself and he’s confident Schurr will stand trial.

“As long as the people continue to say we won’t let you sweep it under the rug, he will have his day in court. Just like with Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many other black people who have been killed unjustly by police, we have to continue to remain vigilant. We don’t feel no ways tired, we’re not discouraged, at all. We have all the confidence in the world that justice will prevail for Patrick Lyoya,” Crump said.

In December, Lyoya’s family filed a civil lawsuit against the City of Grand Rapids and Schurr which alleged excessive force and a violation of Patrick Lyoya’s rights. This week, a federal judge removed Grand Rapids from that lawsuit, but Crump says he believes the city should be held accountable.

“We feel confident that the city ultimately will be brought before a court of law because the video is so clear,” Crump said. “It’s about the credibility of the officer, you can’t believe him in certain aspects and then not believe him in other aspects.”

Patrick Lyoya’s father, Peter, also said he will keep fighting for justice.

“I know that justice is one, there’s no white justice, and there’s no black justice, if there’s only one justice, I will get justice for my son,” said Peter Lyoya.