GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (AP) – A former Michigan police officer who shot a Black motorist in the back of the head during a struggle over a Taser should not stand trial, the attorneys for the accused as they urge a judge to dismiss the case.
Former Rapids Chief Christopher Schurr has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Patrick Lyoya. On Monday, Schurr’s lawyers filed a motion to try to throw out a the verdict must be a jury trial in the case, the news reported.
Schurr’s attorneys said in the filing that Schurr acted in self-defense and that Michigan law allows police officers to use deadly force to stop someone from fleeing and make an arrest.
“The district court erred in its legal decisions based on the objection that has arisen, and the government’s evidence presented to the initial review, then receive information to argue, any question asked by the jury to make a decision or support a decision made by Officer Schurr a crime. ,” according to the motion obtained by the news from Schurr’s attorneys.
A jury will decide whether Schurr’s use of deadly force was justified “after a full and fair trial,” District Judge Nicholas Ayoub ruled in October.
The trial is scheduled for March 13.
Lyoya, 26, briefly ran from the traffic stop, then wrestled with Schurr on the front lawn. the white officer shot him in the vacant position last April. The last moment was captured on video by a man who was a passenger in the car with Lyoya.
Schurr repeatedly told Lyoya to take his hands off the officer’s Taser, according to the video. The Congolese refugee was on the ground when he was killed.
Schurr, an officer for seven years, fired in June after being charged with murder.
Lawyer for the Lyoya family file a federal civil rights lawsuit last month against Schurr and the city of Grand Rapids.
It is seeking $100 million and accuses Schurr of using unreasonable, unlawful and excessive force against Lyoya and showing gross negligence. It also states that the city’s police use-of-force policies are flawed and largely to blame for the death of Lyoya.
Grand Rapids, which has a population of about 200,000, is 160 miles (260 km) west of Detroit.