Grand Rapids, Michigan has been released from a lawsuit filed by Christopher Schurr over the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya.
A judge dismissed the case against the city after finding that the lawyers had failed to show that inadequate police training was directly responsible for the shooting.
Schurr is accused of second degree murder after being fired following the incident in 2022.
A Michigan City was dismissed from a suit over the fatal police shooting a Black driver, but the case against the former officer who shot the man will continue in 2022.
U.S. district judge Paul Maloney stated that immunity does not apply to Christopher Schurr in this early stage of litigation.
Schurr, a Grand Rapids Officer, shot 26-year-old Patrick Lyoya in the back of his head after a short foot chase and a physical struggle. He was fired after that and charged with second degree murder.
The judge pointed out that both sides in a civil case will still have to interview witnesses and consult experts. This process is known as discovery.
Maloney stated Monday that the lawsuit claims Lyoya was “not a threat” and that video footage does not clarify this. “But if Patrick didn’t pose a danger, Schurr wasn’t entitled to use deadly forces, and Schurr, in turn, was not entitled qualified immunity.”
Qualified immunity can be used to protect police officers from excessive force lawsuits as long as they did not violate a clearly established law that they should have been aware of.
Separately the judge dismissed an action against Grand Rapids. Maloney claimed that lawyers had failed to prove that the lack of training for police officers played a direct part in the shooting.
Matt Borgula’s lawyer, Schurr, said that the shooting was justified in the criminal case because Schurr had been met with force while being arrested lawfully. While the Michigan Court of Appeals is deciding on an appeal, the criminal case is on hold.
Grand Rapids is 160 miles from Detroit.