GRAND RAPIDS POLICE DEPARTMENT ANSWERS REV. AL SHARPTON’S CALL TO RELEASE THE NAME OF OFFICER WHO FATALLY SHOT PATRICK LYOYA IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD DURING POLICE STOP
Response reflects demand for transparency during funeral for 26-year-old unarmed Black man killed in April 4thshooting that has sparked nationwide outrage
In response to Rev. Al Sharpton’s demand for transparency and justice, the Grand Rapids Police Department has released the name of the officer who fatally shot Patrick Lyoya during an April 4thtraffic stop. Video from the stop showed the officer, Christopher Schurr, putting his gun to the back of the 26-year-old’s head as he faced the ground before firing.
During an impassioned eulogy for Lyoya in Grand Rapids on Friday, delivered at the request of his family, Rev. Sharpton called on the police department to finally release his name. Today, he reiterated that call for justice.
“Every time a Black man or woman is arrested in America, their name is immediately put out the news. But when this officer put the gun to the back of Patrick Lyoya’s head and decided to pull the trigger, his family had to wait three weeks to find out the name of the man who killed him. Transparency is the first step toward justice in Patrick Lyoya’s name, but it certainly isn’t the last,” said Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN).
The findings of an independent autopsy released last week confirmed Lyoya died from a gunshot wound to the back of the head, something police had not yet confirmed. Renowned forensic expert Werner Spitz found no other wounds on the Congolese immigrant’s body, indicating there was not a struggle before Schurr’s gun was fired. Schurr remains on administrative leave without any policing powers while the Michigan State Police conduct an investigation.
About National Action Network (NAN)
National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency, and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality, or gender. For more information go to www.nationalactionnetwork.net.