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Michigan cop pleads not guilty to murder charge after shooting black motorist Patrick Lyoya

A white Michigan cop pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge for shooting a black motorist in the back of the head during a traffic stop that turned violent.

Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr was “justified in his use of force” when he fatally shot 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya during a roadside struggle on April 4, his attorney said at the cop’s arraignment.

Schurr appeared virtually, masked and donning his orange prison garb, as supporters of both sides clashed at the Grand Rapids courthouse, reports said.

“The defense submits that Officer Schurr, on this charge, was justified in his use of force in this episode and is not guilty in this crime,” said Mark Dodge, an attorney for the cop, video of the court appearance showed.

Schurr had reportedly pulled over Lyoya and suspected him of driving a stolen car because its license plate didn’t match the vehicle. In video of the confrontation, Lyoya is seen getting out of the car before Schurr tells him to get back in.

Lyoya tries to walk away before Schurr catches up to him and a struggle ensues. The cop reportedly tried to draw a Taser and fired it twice but didn’t connect with the motorist. As he is on top of Schurr, he then pulls out his pistol and fatally shoots Lyoya with a single shot, video shows.

Attorney Mark Dodge argued police officer Christopher Schurr was “justified” on shooting Patrick Lyoya during a pullover.
Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press via AP
Grand Rapids police officers lead a protester who was placed under arrest out of the lobby of the Grand Rapids Police Department after the arraignment of Grand Rapids police officer Christopher Schurr Friday, June 10, 2022
Police officers arrest a protester in of the lobby of the Grand Rapids Police Department on June 10, 2022.
Daniel Shular/The Grand Rapids Press via AP
Supporters of officer Christopher Schurr and protestors confront each other outside Kent County District Court in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 10, 2022.
Supporters of officer Schurr and protestors confront each other outside Kent County District Court in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 10, 2022.
Joel Bissell/The Grand Rapids Press via AP
Pro-Patrick Lyoya protesters kneel and chant in the hallway outside the courtroom after police officer Christopher Schurr is arraigned on a charge of second-degree murder in Lyoya's death Friday, June 10, 2022 in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Supporters kneel for Patrick Lyoya during Schurr’s arraignment.
AP Photo/John Flesher
Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr stops to talk with a resident, Wednesday, August 12, 2015, in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Schurr talks to a resident on August 12, 2015.
Emily Rose Bennett/The Grand Rapids Press via AP, File

The death is the latest case of a police-involved shooting of a black man that has gained national attention, and the volatile issue caused for heated exchanges at Schurr’s arraignment.

An “overflow” crowd at the courthouse included about 60 people inside and others gathered in the halls, with supporters of the cop wearing “#standwithschurr” T-shirts, according to CNN. Others wore “Back the Blue” shirts, including Schurr’s father, who was seated in the first row of the courtroom, WOOD-TV reported.

In the halls, activists and supporters of Lyoya chanted “Justice for Patrick” and exchanged words with the cops’ supporters.

Grand Rapids police officer Christopher Schurr suspected Patrick Lyoya was driving a stolen vehicle.
Schurr suspected Patrick Lyoya was driving a stolen vehicle.
via REUTERS
Patrick Lyoya blocks a taser weapon held by a Grand Rapids Police officer during a traffic stop, shortly before Lyoya was shot dead by the officer during a scuffle on a suburban front lawn in Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S. April 4, 2022 in a still image from police body camera video.
Bodycam footage shows Lyoya blocking Schurr’s Taser.
Grand Rapids Police/Handout via REUTERS
A TV display shows video evidence of a Grand Rapids police officer struggling with and shooting Patrick Lyoya at Grand Rapids City Hall on Wednesday, April 13, 2022.
Footage shows Lyoya running away from Schurr.
Grand Rapids Police Department
Grand Rapids police officer Christopher Schurr apparently pulled out his pistol after grabbing hold of Patrick Lyoya.
Schurr apparently pulled out his pistol after grabbing hold of Patrick Lyoya.
Grand Rapids Police
Footage shows Grand Rapids police officer Christopher Schurr confronting Patrick Lyoya after attempting to tase him.
Footage shows Schurr confronting Patrick Lyoya after attempting to tase him.
Grand Rapids Police

“You might be next. Quit your jobs, you might be next,” one activist told Schurr’s supporters, according to WOOD-TV. “If you love him, tell him to quit his job. He might be next. If you care about these police officers, tell them all to quit their job — they might be next.”

Schurr, who is facing life behind bars, was released Friday on $100,000 bond and ordered not to carry a gun and drink alcohol as part of his release, the station said. He’s due back in court for a probable cause hearing June 21.

File source

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