A Michigan appeals court heard arguments on Wednesday regarding whether former police officer Christopher Schurr should stand trial on a murder charge in connection to the 2022 murder of Black motorist Patrick Lyoya. The murder charge arises from a morning traffic stop in which Schurr shot Lyoya in the back of the head while on top of him after a brief chase and struggle.
Schurr's defense team urged the court to dismiss the murder charge due to a law allowing the use of deadly force to "to stop a felon from fleeing when the officer reasonably believed a felony had occurred." The defense also has maintained that he acted in self-defense, highlighting that Lyoya did not comply with multiple commands.
Prosecutors, on the other hand, argued for the charges to be decided by a jury. Assistant Prosecutor Katie Wendt contended that Lyoya was not fleeing and that Schurr had control of the situation when the shots were fired.
Last year, a judge in Grand Rapids found probable cause to send the second-degree murder case to Kent County trial court. The judge stated that a jury could conclude that Schurr "did not reasonably believe that his life was immediately at risk." Evidence presented during the trial included video footage of the incident, wherein Schurr, who is white, repeatedly ordered Lyoya to release the officer's taser.
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Link: AP News