GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The officer charged with murder after shooting Patrick Lyoya during a traffic stop has been fired from the Grand Rapids Police Department.
Chris Schurr’s termination was effective June 10, the city manager announced Wednesday.
The Kent County prosecutor announced on June 9 that he was issuing a second-degree murder charge against Schurr. That same day, the police chief said he was recommending that Schurr be immediately suspended without pay and that he should be fired.
The chief can’t unilaterally fire an officer. Officers are due a termination hearing with the city. Schurr waived that hearing, City Manager Mark Washington said.
“…Therefore, I have decided to terminate Mr. Schurr’s employment with the Grand Rapids Police Department effective June 10, 2022,” Washington said in a Wednesday statement.
“Last Friday, the Police Chief and the Labor Relations Office recommended that I terminate Christopher Schurr’s employment with the City. I accepted that recommendation and scheduled a required discharge hearing. I have been informed by Mr. Schurr’s representatives that he is waiving his right to the hearing and, therefore, I have decided to terminate Mr. Schurr’s employment with the Grand Rapids Police Department effective June 10, 2022. Due to the on-going criminal matter and the potential for civil litigation, I will not be providing any additional comment concerning Mr. Schurr at this time.”City Manager Mark Washington
Ven Johnson, an attorney representing Patrick Lyoya’s family, said Schurr should have been fired when police had the video of the shooting.
“They have an obligation to fire employees who don’t follow their rules,” Johnson said. “Clearly, an officer shooting and killing somebody in the back of the head who was unarmed isn’t following their policies and procedures. They knew that the day of the shooting.”
It’s standard protocol for the city to put an officer on administrative leave while waiting on a decision on charges. Schurr had been on paid administrative leave up until he was charged with the murder of Lyoya.
“So remember now, he has been receiving city of Grand Rapids money from the taxpayers, you’re welcome … up until the decision was made,” Johnson said.
The shooting happened April 4. Schurr pulled over Lyoya, 26, because the car he was driving was carrying plates that didn’t match. Video released by GRPD shows that Lyoya ran away and there was a struggle that included Lyoya grabbing Schurr’s Taser. Schurr, who was on top of Lyoya trying to hold him down, shot Lyoya in the back of the head.
Schurr, 31, of Grandville, was formally arraigned Friday on the count of second-degree murder. He was released from jail after posting bond.
He had been off the job and on paid administrative leave before the murder charge was announced.
City officials said GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom would not comment on Schurr’s firing “due to the ongoing criminal matter and the potential for civil litigation.”
The office of Christopher Schurr’s attorney, Matthew Borgula, also had no comment.
Johnson also told News 8 on Wednesday that the family expects to file a civil suit against the city and Schurr within the next couple of months.
“There’s no question unfortunately the city hasn’t stepped up and said they’re responsible for what happened and taken care of it,” Johnson said. “So we’re going to do the only other thing that we know how to do, and that’s to file a case in the civil courts and move along that route.”
Meanwhile, the criminal case against Schurr is moving forward. He’s due back in court on June 21.
“I would think there could be a trial date by the end of this year, early next year,” Johnson said.