• Mon. Sep 25th, 2023


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Charging Decision Expected in Michigan Police Killing of Black Man

Midway through the struggle, the officer’s body camera stops filming. Chief Eric Winstrom of the Grand Rapids police said pressure was applied to the camera to turn it off during the struggle. It was not clear who applied that pressure or whether it was intentional.

Other cameras — from the officer’s vehicle, a nearby doorbell security system and a bystander’s cellphone — capture different portions of the encounter. Shortly before the fatal shot is fired, Officer Schurr yells, “Let go of the Taser.” Mr. Lyoya is facing the ground and pushing up, with the officer on top of him, in the moments just before the shooting.

After the shooting, city officials pledged to learn from the encounter and evaluate Police Department policies.

“When I saw the video, it was painful to watch,” Mark Washington, the Grand Rapids city manager, said when the videos were released. “And I immediately asked, ‘What caused this to happen, and what more could have been done to prevent this from occurring?’”

Mr. Lyoya’s parents said he was a good son who provided some financial support to his family and sometimes came by their home on weekends to help his siblings. He held a range of jobs over the years, including at a turkey processor and an auto parts manufacturer.

But Mr. Lyoya had struggled since arriving in Michigan. He had been arrested more than a dozen times, mostly for misdemeanors involving cars, and he also faced three charges for domestic violence. At the time of his death, Mr. Lyoya was on probation, his driver’s license was revoked and there were two warrants out for his arrest, including one for a domestic violence charge three days earlier. He had told friends he was trying to get his life together.

Acquaintances of Officer Schurr, who grew up near Grand Rapids, described him as a stickler for rules. He was a member of his college track team, and he married his wife during a Christian mission trip to Kenya in 2014. Members of his college team said Officer Schurr could be quick to anger.