GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — For weeks we have heard time and time again that Grand Rapids police would not name the officer involved in the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya, because Officer Christopher Schurr had not been charged with anything and the state police investigation is still ongoing.
On Monday, they had a change of heart.
Chief Eric Winstrom explained this was not a decision he made lightly but one he felt was best to come forward with, saying pending Freedom of Information Act requests and civil litigation would likely name the officer by the end of the week.
But it was important to him the department confirmed social media speculation before then.
Winstrom explained that false information has been floating around, with other officers named, as well as attempts to share addresses of Officer Christopher Schurr. Winstrom said it was important to make sure Officer Schurr was safe before his name was made public.
“This is a town where a lot of people know each other. And your image as a police officer on video is not private,” says Winstrom. “So, when we released the video, we knew eventually his information would get out there. A concern for us was that it did not impact the investigation, in that we want to make sure the safety of this officer was protected.”
I asked Winstrom if Officer Schurr is in the state of Michigan at this time. He says he can't answer that. In fact, he won't go into specific detail about how they're ensuring the safety of the officer, saying that was a priority in ensuring the fairness in this investigation.