A Michigan police chief backtracked on Monday and publicly identified the officer who shot and killed a man in the back of the head during a traffic stop on April 4.
The Grand Rapids officer is Christopher Schurr, Chief Eric Winstrom said.
Patrick Lyoya, 26, black and originally from Congo, was killed after a fight with the officer.
“In the interest of transparency, to reduce ongoing speculation, and to avoid further confusion, I confirm the name that is already circulating publicly – Christopher Schurr – as the officer involved in the April 4 shooting,” said Winstrom in a statement. .
In the aftermath of the shooting and the release of the video, Winstrom said he would not release the officer’s name unless he was charged with a crime. It was described as a long-standing practice that applied to the public as well as City employees.
Lyoya’s family and black leaders, including the Reverend Al Sharpton, have repeatedly called for transparency and the publication of the name.
“We want his name!” Sharpton shouted at Lyoya’s funeral, saying authorities cannot set a precedent by withholding the names of officers who kill people unless the officer is charged.
Lyoya, who was unarmed, was face down when he was shot. Schurr was on top of him and can be heard on video demanding that he remove his hand from the officer’s Taser.
A medical examiner who performed an autopsy at the request of the family said the gun was pressed against Lyoya’s head when he was shot.
“Every time a young black man or woman is arrested in this town, you put their name all over the news. Every time we’re suspected of something, you put our name out there,” Sharpton said. . “How dare you hold the name of a man who killed this man?” We want his name!
After the funeral, Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington acknowledged the request for the officer’s name and said he would discuss the matter with Winstrom and city employment officials.
“Police reform requires evaluating many longstanding practices to ensure our actions are in the best interests of the community and the individuals involved,” Washington said last week.