Activist state

Local activist reacts to murder charge against Grand Rapids officer | State

FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) – Kent County District Attorney Chris Becker has cleared a second degree murder charge against Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr who shot and killed black motorist Patrick Lyoya during a fight in April.

ABC12 News was able to watch the announcement live with local activist and Flint pastor Chris Martin, who says the second-degree murder charge is a step in the right direction for the Black Lives Matter movement, but fears that the case pending in Kent County cannot unravel this progress.

“Grand Rapids culture is very conservative, very stoic and I just don’t see how, with their support of law enforcement, they are able to think critically about a case like this,” said Martin, who lived and worked in Grand Rapids for 18 months said.

A Michigan black community activist has urged Prosecutor Becker to take the case to the state’s attorney general to avoid the possibility of an unfair jury. However, prosecutor Becker refused to do so.

“Everyone thinks prosecutors are an arm or just a branch of the police. And we’re not,” Becker told reporters at the press conference. “We are our own entity. We have a duty to uphold the law. We work a lot with them but we don’t work for them.

But an activist like Martin wants this accusation to be a message across Michigan and continue to push for change in communities like Genesee County.

“At least we have a chance in Michigan to send a message like they did in Minnesota,” Martin said. “It’s not right. It’s not right. It’s not right to kill an unarmed black man. It’s just not right.”

Prosecutor Becker said Schurr surrendered and was scheduled to appear in court on Friday.