Officer Christopher Schurr attended the hearing virtually via Zoom, WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids reported. The judge ordered him held on $100,000 bail.
June 10 (News) — A Grand Rapids, Michigan police officer pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the shooting of Patrick Lyoya during an indictment Friday.
Schurr turned himself in to police Thursday after Kent County Attorney Chris Becker charged him with Lyoya’s death during a scuffle that followed an April 4 traffic stop.
During the stop, Lyoya appeared confused about what was happening and tried to back away from the officer, prosecutors said, leading to a fight that ended with Schurr killing Lyoya.
An autopsy ordered by Lyoya’s family revealed that he had been shot in the back of the head.
During Friday’s arraignment, defense attorney Mark Dodge said his client was “justified in his use of force in this episode and not guilty of this crime.”
Lyoya was a 26-year-old Congolese refugee. His killing sparked protests in Grand Rapids, Detroit and elsewhere. His family and supporters attended Friday’s hearing.
“Because many things were said, I wasn’t quite sure if I had the truth in my hands. And I thought that maybe there is no justice in America,” his father Peter Lyoya said.
“And to go by what the DA just said to charge the cop who killed Patrick, Patrick isn’t coming back. We won’t see him again. And to show at this point that the cop is being charged and charged, that’s really a comfort to our family.”
The judge scheduled Schurr’s next court appearance for June 21, Detroit-based WJBK-TV reported.
Schurr faces life imprisonment if convicted.
Doug Cunningham contributed to this report.