GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Tuesday night's Grand Rapids City Commission meeting ended early after city leaders called a recess, walking out during public comment while community activists continued calling for justice for Patrick Lyoya.
The protest comes a day after the Grand Rapids Police Department announced the name of the person who shot and killed Lyoya, identifying him as officer Christopher Schurr.
Activists at the meeting were frustrated that downtown developments were on the agenda while they weren't being heard for their concerns.
"When y'all are talking about sidewalks and flowers, who cares about that when our children are struggling everyday in mental health... police brutality, violence, drug abuse in the community?" said an activist named Candace. "And then y'all sit here with y'all attitudes and act like we're the problems. No — you guys are put in these positions to take care of the problems, but you're not being successful with doing that."
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"Patrick's death has been a catalyst for the cries of the people. And the cries are being heard," said Regina, another community member.
Halfway through public comment, Mayor Rosalynn Bliss called for a recess while the crowd became unruly, asking for answers in the Lyoya death investigation.
As GRPD brought more officers into the room, including Chief Eric Winstrom, activists continued chanting. For more than an hour, they were able to speak directly to Winstrom, asking him questions and making a list of demands.
Activists insisted that Schurr be charged, arrested and prosecuted. They also demanded an end qualified immunity for police officers, that Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker recuse himself from the case and for police officers to have life insurance.
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.
Once MSP's investigation is complete, their findings will be given to the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office for the next steps in the investigation.
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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