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Grand Rapids officer ‘vindicated’ for shooting dead Patrick Lyoya, attorney says at arraignment | New

A police officer was “justified in his use of force” and not guilty of second degree murder in the death of Patrick Lyoya, the police officer’s lawyer said during an arrest on Friday.

Court filings released Friday offered a fuller account of what investigators determined in their investigation and what Schurr said.

Lyoya was shot in the back of the neck during a fight. His final moments were captured in several videos later released to the public.

Schurr appeared in court via video link from a jail in Calhoun County, Michigan, wearing an orange jail suit and disposable face mask. An overflowing crowd filled the courtroom, with around 60 people in court and more outside. There were protesters and supporters, some of whom wore blue shirts emblazoned with: “#standwithschurr”.

After the hearing, a small group of protesters clashed with supporters outside the courthouse, shouting obscenities and chanting “Justice for Patrick”.

In the courtroom, Mark Dodge, the officer’s attorney, said his client was “justified in his use of force” and pleaded not guilty on Schurr’s behalf. He said the officer only offered “cooperation” during the investigation.

A judge set Schurr’s bail at $100,000 and put in place a number of conditions for his bail, including that Schurr not buy or own guns and not drink alcohol or do not use drugs. A probable cause conference has been set for June 21.

Motion says officer believed he was ‘in danger’

Schurr’s attorneys said in a bail motion that the officer saw the Nissan Lyoya driving “suspiciously slow moving and believed it matched the description of a recently reported stolen vehicle.” He “analyzed” the car’s plate and realized that it did not match the car, leading him to believe the car might be stolen.

During the traffic stop, Lyoya fled and Schurr tried to get custody, according to a petition. The officer believed that Lyoya “had gained full control of (his) Taser” and that he was “in danger of serious bodily harm or death”.

Schurr’s training and experience led him to believe that “a person who attempts to flee and resist arrest may have outstanding criminal charges or is currently involved in criminal activity and is avoiding being arrested,” according to the petition, which did not name Lyoya.

The officer’s attorneys said the shooting was justified and “the evidence presented at trial will ultimately show that Officer Schurr was legally justified in his use of force.” The petition says Schurr is a lifelong Michigan resident with no criminal record or history of failing to appear in court.

Michigan State Police detective. sergeant. Aaron Tubergen, whose agency investigated the shooting, said in a court document supporting the arrest warrant that Lyoya tried to walk away from Schurr after the officer applied for his permit and drove about 30 feet from the car before being tackled to the ground. There was a physical altercation, with Schurr demanding Lyoya, “stop fighting, stop resisting,” according to a transcript of Tubergen’s testimony Thursday morning to the judge who signed the second-degree murder charge and warrant.

Tubergen said Schurr deployed his Taser twice. After Lyoya took control of the Taser, Schurr gave him “numerous commands” to drop the device and a physical altercation ensued with the two men on the ground.

The officer was on Lyoya’s back – the black man lying on the ground – when Schurr “lost complete control of the Taser”. Lyoya had “full Taser control” at the time.

“It appears that Patrick was then on all fours. Again Constable Schurr was on his back,” the detective sergeant said, according to the transcript. “Officer Schurr pulled his service firearm from its holster and then fired a bullet into the back of Patrick’s head, rendering his body inert.”

Tubergen told the Kent County judge that he interviewed law enforcement, reviewed body camera footage, dash cam video, neighborhood residential security video and video on mobile phone recorded by a witness. He said he also obtained a written statement from Schurr, who surrendered on Thursday.

Prosecutor says decision to charge ‘not a message’

“It’s just based on the facts and the decision-making in this case,” Becker told reporters, referring to the second-degree murder charge.

Lyoya, 26, was arrested by Schurr for an allegedly unregistered license plate.

Lyoya had three warrants outstanding at the time he fled Schurr, and an autopsy revealed his blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit.

After the death, protesters poured into the streets of Grand Rapids, a city with a history of tension between black residents and police.

The shooting prompted the state’s civil rights agency to renew a request to investigate Justice Department patterns or practices in the Grand Rapids Police Department, just a month after taking office of a new police chief.

The county medical examiner’s office released its autopsy results in early May, and the Grand Rapids Police Department released dispatch records and reports written by officers who responded to the shooting.

Radio traffic, a computer-aided dispatch log, and redacted incident reports shed light on the moments before and after the officer shot Lyoya.

Radio traffic and other records released by police showed Schurr telling supervisors after the shooting that Lyoya “had my Taser.”

Schurr informed his dispatcher that he had stopped a beige car around 8:11 a.m. He told the dispatcher that a person was fleeing the stop about 75 seconds later and asked for more officers to respond about two minutes later. the stop. Schurr told the dispatcher he was “involved in a shooting” about four minutes after the initial stoppage. The dispatcher said emergency medical services were on the way about 11 seconds after that.

Lyoya was driving with a revoked license at the time of the traffic stop. His license was revoked in March due to a third drug addiction conviction in 10 years, according to public records. He had three warrants open at the time of the traffic stop, according to a CNN review of state records.

It is unclear if Schurr knew of the warrants or the revoked license when Lyoya fled on foot shortly after the stoppage.

Records show he was wanted in connection with a domestic violence case from April, charged as a second offence. Another warrant was issued in early April for failure to appear or pay. Another open warrant appeared in the court file regarding a traffic accident with property damage that Lyoya allegedly fled. Lawyers for his family declined to comment on open warrants.

Grand Rapids Police Department Chief Eric Winstrom said Thursday he recommends the city suspend Schurr without pay, pending his firing. The officer will have a release hearing and the final decision on his employment will be made by the City Manager.

Winstrom, who took over as chief in March, said he was pleased with the decision to seek the officer’s firing.

“I recognize the impact this will have on a longtime employee and friend to many at the Grand Rapids Police Department, but I think it’s the right thing to do,” he said.

Peter Lyoya, Patrick’s father, said Thursday the prosecution brings some relief to the family, even though his son will never return.

“My heart has been really broken over the past two months because a lot has been said,” he told reporters at a news conference through an interpreter. “And I thought maybe there was no justice in America.”

But he added that if it weren’t for the videos capturing his son’s final moments, there wouldn’t be a second-degree murder charge today.

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CNN’s Peter Nickeas reported from Grand Rapids and Ray Sanchez and Laura Ly reported and wrote from New York. CNN’s Tanika Gray contributed to this report.