Patrick Lyoya’s father reacts to decision to charge Grand Rapids officer with 2nd-degree murder

Expect a civil litigation on behalf of Lyoya family to be filed sooner rather than later

Patrick Lyoya’s father Peter Lyoya reacted to Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker’s decision to charge Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr with second-degree murder Thursday (June 9) afternoon. Peter Lyoya and family Attorney Ven Johnson spoke on those who plan to protest in Grand Rapids. Both men say they encourage it, but they have renewed a call that there will be no violence in the name of Patrick Lyoya.

DETROITPatrick Lyoya’s father Peter Lyoya reacted to Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker’s decision to charge Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr with second-degree murder Thursday (June 9) afternoon.

Peter Lyoya and family Attorney Ven Johnson spoke on those who plan to protest in Grand Rapids.

Both men say they encourage it, but they have renewed a call that there will be no violence in the name of Patrick Lyoya.

“You will not see any celebrations on behalf of the family,” said Johnson.

Patrick Lyoya’s father, Peter Lyoya, flanked by Attorney Ven Johnson and interpreter Israel Cikhu remained stoic through the announcement.

Read: Grand Rapids officer charged with 2nd-degree murder in killing of Patrick Lyoya

The Kent County Prosecutor called Peter Lyoya about five minutes before the second-degree murder charge was announced to let him know the decision.

“That brings a little bit of consolation to our family because we see everybody who supports us, everybody who stands by us, they did a good job to get this kind of justice,” Peter Lyoya said via his interpreter Israle Siku.

The family and Attorney Johnson made it clear that they know a charge is not a conviction, and there is an intense legal process ahead.

“We are not done here,” said Johnson. “Let’s go get the last justice for Patrick.”

Expect the civil litigation on behalf of the family to be filed sooner rather than later.

The Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom just spoke in the aftermath of Thursday’s charging decision.

Winstrom is recommending the City Manager suspend officer Schurr without pay pending termination.

“I recognize the impact this will have on a longtime employee and a friend of many at the Grand Rapids Police Department,” said Winstrom. “But I think it is the right thing to do. Over the past two months, under the most challenging conditions, the men and women of the Grand Rapids Police Department had been giving 100% and are doing an incredible job for the city. I’m not aware of another agency involved in such a hope, such a high-profile incident which demonstrated such a level of professional professionalism during such a difficult time.”


About the Authors:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.