A growing number of reports across social media are claiming to have identified the Grand Rapids police officer who killed an unarmed Black man following a traffic stop over an alleged misdemeanor moving violation last week in western Michigan.
The reported revelation came hours after law enforcement and city officials in Grand Rapids on Wednesday released video footage of the police encounter that left Patrick Lyoya dead from a single gunshot wound to the back of his head on April 4.
Multiple Twitter accounts posted tweets claiming that the Grand Rapids police officer who killed Lyoya is named Christopher Paul Schurr.
There was no immediate verifiable proof presented with these tweets, but some of them were accompanied by purported photos of what appears to be a class of recruits with whom he graduated from the police academy.
However, at least one other tweet posted a photo of someone alleged to be Schurr who did not resemble the person in the photo of recruits, making it unclear whether that name was accurate for the officer who killed Lyoya, a 26-year-old Congolese refugee.
One tweet, however, showed a different photo of a man who looked like the same person in the police recruit picture smiling while wearing a police uniform.
Another tweet claimed to know when Schurr became a police officer, which high school and college he attended as well as his salary from two years ago. The tweet replying to the Associated Press did not disclose how that alleged information was obtained.
An internet search for “Christopher Paul Schurr” yielded several results that found a 30-year-old male with that name residing in Grand Rapids. Another result claims a 32-year-old man by that name also lives in Grand Rapids. Neither the mens’ occupations nor their demographics are listed. Other results turned up 404 errors showing that the associated web pages no longer contained any information.
Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom said he would not release the officer’s name unless there were criminal charges.
Kent County Prosecuting Attorney Christopher Becker previously told CNN his office’s investigation was ongoing.
Michigan State Police is leading the law enforcement investigation and is expected to give its findings to Becker’s office.
Meanwhile, the officer who killed Lyoya was placed on paid leave.
“We demand that the officer who killed Patrick not only be terminated for his use of excessive and fatal force, but be arrested and prosecuted for the violent killing of Patrick Lyoya,” Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney retained by Lyoya’s family, said in a statement emailed to NewsOne after the video footage was released Wednesday.
The release of the video footage sparked a protest in Grand Rapids with attendees demanding to know the name of the officer who killed Lyoya, who was shown on all of the newly released videos not initiating any violence during the encounter on that fateful rainy morning. The footage was recorded by the officer’s dashcam, his bodycam, a witness’ cellphone and a neighbor’s home security camera.
The video footage was released following more than a week of demands for transparency from Lyoya’s family.
The cellphone video was recorded by a passenger in the car Lyoya was driving when he was pulled over and shows the moment when the officer shot him.
Lyoya was pulled over for allegedly driving a car with unregistered license plates, a misdemeanor. Videos show Lyoya resisted the officer’s commands before he ran away slowly. The officer gave chase, tackled Lyoya, tried and failed to Taser him before wrestling the native of the Democratic Republic of Congo. When the officer had Lyoya in a face-down position, he reached for his gun and fired a single shot into the back of Lyoya’s head, killing him instantly.
The officer’s body camera was deactivated during the encounter, something Winstrom said can happen during a foot pursuit.
“The video clearly shows that this was an unnecessary, excessive, and fatal use of force against an unarmed Black man who was confused by the encounter and terrified for his life,” Crump also said in his statement. “It should be noted that Patrick never used violence against this officer even though the officer used violence against him in several instances for what was a misdemeanor traffic stop.”
This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.
Michigan Cop Who Killed Patrick Lyoya Reportedly Identified was originally published on newsone.com