Grand Rapids – A Michigan judge on Friday dismissed a second-degree murder charge against a former Grand Rapids police officer who was fired after shooting a black motorist in the back of the head during a struggle over a Taser.
Christopher Schurr is scheduled to go on trial on March 13 in connection with the shooting death of Patrick Loya last April. District Judge Christina Elmore denied defense attorneys’ request to dismiss the case.
Schurr’s attorneys argued that he was acting in self-defense and that Michigan law allows police officers to use deadly force to stop someone from fleeing and arresting. Video footage showed Schurr clinging to Lyoya’s body as the Congolese refugee lay face down beneath him.
Prosecutors said the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding probable cause to proceed with the trial. The judge found sufficient evidence at the preliminary hearing that a jury could conclude that Schurr did not reasonably believe his life was in immediate danger.
Schurr was fired last June after several months on paid leave. He spent a night in jail and then posted bail.
Attorneys for the Loya family filed a civil suit against Schurr and the city of Grand Rapids.