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Activists attend Grand Rapids Commission meeting on city budget

The demonstration at the City Commission meeting comes one day after commissioners' homes were vandalized.
Credit: City of Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Many 'Justice for Patrick Lyoya' activists were in attendance of Tuesday night's Grand Rapids City Commission special meeting on city budget, making their voices heard to city officials.

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss and Commissioner Nathaniel Moody were not in attendance of the meeting.

The two previous City Commission meeting were cut short by demonstrations.

City commissioners' homes were vandalized overnight Sunday. Police say they are collecting evidence like surveillance camera footage and witness statements. 

A 13 ON YOUR SIDE crew at the scene of a commissioner's home on Grand Rapids' northwest side reports the vandalism includes spray paint on the driveway reading "Abolish police" and "Defund GRPD". 

Credit: WZZM

There are also bricks on the property wrapped in newspaper articles covering Patrick Lyoya's death with the phrase "Blood is on your hands" written on it.

Credit: WZZM

The demonstration at the meeting comes a month after the Grand Rapids Police Department announced the name of the person who shot and killed Lyoya, identifying him as officer Christopher Schurr, and about six weeks since Lyoya was killed.

Activists at the meeting were frustrated that the city was focusing funds on downtown developments and the Grand Rapids Police Department rather than on the community.

Lyoya was killed Monday, April 4 during a traffic stop near the intersection of Griggs Street and Nelson Avenue SE in Grand Rapids.  

Authorities said a GRPD officer initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle with a faulty license plate. Lyoya, who was driving the vehicle, fled from police on foot. 

After a physical struggle with the officer, Lyoya was shot and killed.

Officer Schurr remains on administrative leave. He has been stripped of his police powers until the conclusion of the Michigan State Police investigation into potential criminal charges. 

The Michigan State Police told 13 ON YOUR SIDE on May 4 that detectives have not yet received forensic data back from the manufacturers of the taser and body camera.

Once received, those reports will be sent to the Kent County Prosecutor.

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker says he will not make a final decision on the case until he has all of the evidence.

GRPD has also launched an Internal Affairs investigation to determine whether all applicable departmental policies were followed.

Authorities recently released several angles of video that capture the incident: body-worn camera, in-car video, a neighbor’s doorbell video and cellphone video the passenger of Lyoya's car recorded. 

That cellphone video captures the moment Schurr shoots Lyoya. 

After Lyoya’s death, community members have been gathering daily to protest the actions of the GRPD officer and to demand justice.

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