A Michigan judge entered a not guilty plea Friday on behalf of a police officer charged with murder in the death of Patrick Lyoya, a Black man who was shot in the head in April.
Christopher Schurr was ordered held on $100,000 bail during his video appearance from jail. Grand Rapids Judge Nicholas Ayoub entered the not-guilty plea on his behalf.
Outside the packed courtroom, supporters of Lyoya taunted the Grand Rapids officer and called for justice. The courtroom benches were full of spectators, some wearing T-shirts with pro-police slogans, including #StandwithSchurr.
Lyoya was on the ground when Schurr shot the 26-year-old refugee from Congo following an April 4 traffic stop. Schurr had demanded that Lyoya “let go” of the officer’s Taser. Video from a passenger in the car captured the final chilling moments.
Defense attorneys said Schurr was defending himself and didn’t commit a crime. Kent County prosecutor Chris Becker announced the murder charge Thursday.
“The death was not justified or excused, for example, by self-defense,” the prosecutor said, reciting the elements of second-degree murder.
Schurr surrendered to authorities Thursday. He said he stopped Lyoya because the license plate didn’t match the vehicle. Roughly a minute later, Lyoya began to run after he was asked to produce a driver’s license.
Schurr caught him quickly, and the two struggled across a front lawn in the rain before the fatal shot.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.