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Community Updates: Friday, June 10

Christopher Schurr is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Patrick Lyoya; Grand Rapids takes steps towards eco-friendliness; and more
Bridgewater Place and the Michigan Street Bridge as seen from the Grand River

Bridgewater Place and the Michigan Street Bridge as seen from the Grand River /Terry Johnston

Christopher Schurr is Charged with Second-Degree Murder in the Death of Patrick Lyoya

Kent County Prosecutor Christopher Becker held a press conference on Thursday, June 9 to announce whether or not his office would press criminal charges against Christopher Schurr, the GRPD officer who shot and killed Patrick Lyoya on April 4, 2022. "Based on [the MSP] investigation... I have made the decision to charge Christopher Schurr with one count of second-degree murder," he stated. "Second-degree murder is a felony offense -- it is punishable by up to life in prison with the possibility of parole." According to the Michigan State Police, Christopher Schurr has turned himself in and has been processed. His arraignment is expected to occur in Grand Rapids on Friday, June 10. However, Becker does go on to remind viewers that Schurr, like every individual that is accused of a crime, is "presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law."

Due to the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct, Prosecutor Becker was unable to share the details of the investigation at the press conference.

Moments later, another news conference was held by Ven Johnson, one of the Lyoya family's attorneys, at his office in Detroit. Attorney Johnson was joined by Peter Lyoya (Patrick Lyoya's father), Israel Siku (the Lyoya family's interpreter), Attorney Darren Findling (President of The Probate Pro law firm in Royal Oak, MI), and Kent County Commissioner Robert S. Womack. Attorney Ben Crump, another one of the Lyoya family's legal representatives, joined the press conference via Zoom. "Hopefully, with there being a measure of accountability, we can start to prevent some of these unnecessary, unjust killings of black men," said Attorney Crump. "It is more than appropriate that these charges [were] brought against this officer who did not have to do this."

Prosecutor Becker's press conference was livestreamed on the Kent County Live Streams YouTube channel and can also be viewed below:


Grand Rapids Takes Steps Towards Eco-Friendliness

In December 2020, an action request was submitted to the City of Grand Rapids by the Office of Sustainability and Performance Management and the Grand Rapids Water Department. In this request, they asked the City to approve a Solar Equipment Service Contract with a Michigan-based energy corporation called ES Services -- allowing them to establish a solar array at the Lake Michigan Filtration Plant in West Olive, MI. Now, a year and a half later, the City of Grand Rapids has taken one more step towards greater eco-friendliness.

On Thursday, June 9, the LMFP solar array was officially brought online. Representatives from the City of Grand Rapids, including Mayor Rosalynn Bliss and City Manager Mark Washington were in attendance, as well as members of the Energy Advisory Committee, the Grand Rapids Sustainability and Water System, Harvest Solar, and CMS Energy. According to a press release, the LMFP solar array is expected to have a positive impact on the community by "[generating]... 1.5 million kilowatt hours per year" and "[eliminating] approximately 1,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents." Bringing this array online will also raise Grand Rapids' "renewable energy performance from 37.5% to 41%". There is also a plan to plant around 500 trees and implement a field for pollinator species around the array as part of the terms set forth by the Solar Equipment Service Contract.


Also in the News:

  • On Tuesday, June 7, the historic St. James Catholic Church on Grand Rapids' westside held its final mass. This comes a few days after it was announced that the church was officially closing its doors after 150+ years of serving the community.

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