Patrick Lyoya, 26, an African immigrant from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was shot in the back of the head by patrolman Christopher Schurr on April 4. This act of police violence was met with widespread shock and mass demonstrations demanding that Schurr be terminated from the Grand Rapids police department and charged with murder. There was an announcement made on June 15 saying that Schurr had been fired from the Grand Rapid Police Department. This came less than a week after his indictment on second degree murder charges in the death of Lyoya. Despite the national attention focusing on the killing of Lyoya, it would take more than two months for Schurr to be indicted for second degree murder.
A crowd of hundreds marched to the Grand Rapids City Commissioners meeting, April 12, to demand both the release of the raw video showing the murder of Patrick Lyoya and the arrest of the still-unnamed killer cop. Lyoya was a 26-year-old Congolese immigrant executed by the Grand Rapids Police Department last week. In the days after his death, citywide mourning and protests against the police have increased and are expected to surge after the release of the video this Wednesday. The police department has continued to stall the footage, while the city insists it is acting in full transparency. Patrick’s father, Peter Lyoya, said the video shows his son murdered “execution style” on the ground. The family has said the narrative of the department, that there was a “struggle,” runs counter to the facts.