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Michigan Cop Who Shot Unarmed Black Man In The Back Of The Head Charged With Second-Degree Murder

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Christopher Schurr

In a case that has drawn national attention, a Grand Rapids police officer who shot an unarmed black man in the back of the head on April 4, has been charged with one count of second-degree murder, Kent County Prosecuting Attorney Christopher Becker told reporters Thursday.

The officer, officer Christopher Schurr shot Patrick Lyoya in the back of the head during a struggle after a routine traffic stop, CNN reported. Lyoya’s final moments were captured in multiple videos later released to the public.

“This is not a message. This is just based on the facts and making a decision in this case,” Kent Becker told reporters, referring to the charge.

Ben Crump, an attorney for the Lyoya family, in a statement called the decision to file charges “a step in the right direction.”

“We are encouraged by attorney Christopher Becker’s decision to charge Christopher Schurr for the brutal killing of Patrick Lyoya, which we all witnessed when the video footage was released to the public,” Crump said.

He added: “Officer Schurr must be held accountable for his decision to pursue an unarmed Patrick, ultimately shooting him in the back of the head and killing him — for nothing more than a traffic stop.”

Responding to a question about the timing of the criminal charge, Becker said he received the investigative report from the state police about eight days ago.

“Things take time, and I want to be, obviously, thorough. This is a major decision,” he said.

Becker stressed that prosecutors are not a branch of the police department. We work a lot with them, but we don’t work for them,” he said.