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Family of Patrick Lyoya files civil lawsuit against GRPD Officer, City of Grand Rapids

Attorneys representing the family claim they have "overwhelming evidence" that "proves racial profiling and excessive force" during the fatal traffic stop.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Attorneys representing the family of a Black man who was shot and killed during a police traffic stop in April filed a civil lawsuit against the former officer and the City of Grand Rapids.

Ben Crump, a well-known civil rights attorney, has been calling for justice on behalf of Patrick Lyoya since the altercation happened. 

Crump and Detroit-based attorney Ven Johnson say they have "overwhelming evidence" that "proves racial profiling and excessive force" during the traffic stop that was caught on video showing former GRPD Officer Christopher Schurr shoot Lyoya in the back of the head. 

Crump and Johnson are expected to share additional details about the lawsuit Wednesday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. 

You can watch the news conference live on our website. 

Schurr is facing a separate criminal charge in Lyoya's killing. 

He is charged with second-degree murder. 

RELATED: Ex-GRPD officer will face jury in killing of Patrick Lyoya, judge rules

Kent County Prosecutor Christopher Becker previously said there's no question there was a death and an intent to kill, but it's up to a jury to decide if the use of deadly force was justified.

"We saw the evidence and we made our arguments," Becker said. "We'll kind of stand on what we said in the corner here today arguing for bind over."

RELATED: 'He was like my son': Congolese pastor remembers Patrick Lyoya

Schurr's attorneys disagree, arguing the prosecutor was unable to prove the action was unreasonable.

"The evidence is shown here that they cannot prove this beyond a reasonable doubt," Schurr's defense attorney Matt Borgula, said. "There's absolutely no evidence to suggest from anybody who's in law enforcement, who's an expert in the field, that this wasn't justified under the circumstances."

The shooting happened Monday, April 4 just after 8 a.m. near the intersection of Griggs Street and Nelson Avenue SE in Grand Rapids. Schurr pulled Lyoya over, who was driving with a friend in the passenger seat.

Lyoya got out of his vehicle, and after a brief physical struggle and fight over the officer's taser, Lyoya was shot in the back of the head and killed.


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