Grand Rapids meeting ends early, as city leaders leave amidst protests
Grand Rapids’ City Commission meeting ended abruptly on Tuesday night, as city leaders walked out and activists chanted in the empty meeting room. The uproar came one day after the City’s police department identified Christopher Schurr as the officer who shot and killed Patrick Lyoya.
The seats of Grand Rapids’ city commissioners sat empty by the end of Tuesday’s commission meeting. Mayor Rosalynn Bliss had called a recess during the public comment period, due to a community speaker’s use of expletives and running over time at the microphone.
“Okay, we’re going to take a recess until decorum is…We’re recessing commissioners for 10 minutes,” Bliss said.
The meeting was ultimately adjourned as around three dozen protesters flooded to the center of the room, demanding their voices be heard.
“Patrick Lyoya’s blood is on all ya’ll hands and I hope you know that,” one protester yelled.
As police entered the space, GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom remained in the room to speak with activists, who were demanding he fire and arrest Christopher Schurr, the GRPD officer who fatally shot Patrick Lyoya in the back of the head following a traffic stop this month.
“If I fired Chris Schurr today that would be a due process violation. He would grieve it, win immediately because I don’t have the investigation period. I don’t have any part of the investigation. He would win immediately. He would get hired back and he would be a police officer for the rest of his career, no matter what. And there would be nothing I could do,” Winstrom said.
Schurr is currently on paid leave, stripped of his police powers, pending Michigan State Police’s investigation into the incident.
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