NewsShooting death of Patrick Lyoya


NAACP Youth Council members reflect on officer’s 2nd-degree murder charge

Posted at 10:21 PM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-11 15:53:11-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Community members throughout West Michigan continue to process and reflect on the latest in the Patrick Lyoya shooting death investigation.

Officer Christopher Schurr, who shot and killed Lyoya, faces a second-degree murder charge.

He posted bond and was released from jail Friday afternoon, shortly after his arraignment.

READ MORE: GRPD Officer Schurr bonds out of jail

In April, following Lyoya’s death, FOX 17 talked with two members of the NAACP Grand Rapids Youth Council about their experience with policing in the community.

REFERENCE: NAACP discusses police relations after shooting death of Patrick Lyoya

Now that Schurr has been charged, we checked back in with the pair, who are part of the NAACP GR Youth Council.

NAACP Youth Council members reflect on 2nd-degree murder charge

“It’s definitely been nerve-wracking. The community was definitely, definitely hurting,” said Onesimus Pewee, NAACP GR Youth Council member. “We were shocked, you know, because we didn’t know. We didn’t expect to have such a verdict.”

It’s been more than two months since Lyoya’s death. During that time, protests, demonstrations and conversations about police relations have continued throughout the community.

FOX 17 asked Pewee if he thinks Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker would have charged Schurr with second-degree murder without that pressure from the public.

“Absolutely not. Because we were heard. We were listened to. And yeah, I honestly think that we played a major role in this for sure,” Pewee responded.

He applauds Becker’s decision, saying it’s a necessary step toward change.

“It’s a good first step. Conviction still needs to happen, and so that’s what we’re waiting for,” Pewee added.

In response to Schurr's second-degree murder charge, the NAACP GR Youth Council released the following statement:

NAACP GR YC Statement

“We’re asking for the people who are involved in this court to make sure that their decision for conviction or not is unbiased,” NAACP GR Youth Council President Ja’Von Fields told FOX 17.

He hopes this case will help eliminate over-policing. Fields says this isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning.

“We will continue to meet with our city officials, elected officials, city leaders, community leaders to continue to apply that pressure on police reform, transparent police reform and upgrading the community police relations,” said Fields.

Click here for more coverage on the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya.

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