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Solidarity for a Murderer: Thoughts and Prayers from the Grand Rapids Cop Union

November 1, 2022

It is now official. The Judge presiding over the case of the ex-cop, Christopher Schurr, made a ruling on Monday that Schurr will stand trial for the 2nd degree murder charge he was given when he shot Patrick Lyoya in the back of the head.

The Grand Rapids Police Officer’s Association (GRPOA) wasted no time in responding to the judge’s decision that Schurr will stand trial, with this post on their Facebook page: 

Chris and Brandey, 

The GRPOA will continue to support you and stand with you.  You are family!  We are here for your every need. Today’s decision by Judge Ayoub is only prolonging the inevitable.  You have committed no crime and you will be acquitted.  Keep your head up!  Know you have many that support you in the community and throughout the nation.  

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

This statement is worth a brief deconstruction. First, the GROPA claims that Schurr committed no crime and that he will be acquitted. This is the same arrogant stance they took when responding to the court’s decision on the cop who discharged his gun while confronting another Black man, Daevionne Smith. During Smith’s court case the judge would not allow him to give testimony and Smith was quoted as saying after the ruling, “This is one of the first times I’ve ever felt so powerless, to sit back and actually watch this go on and not able to do nothing about it. Y’all made me feel like I don’t matter. My life don’t matter. Everything that I went through and I’m still continuously going through doesn’t matter.”

Second, Patrick Lyoya is completely absent in the GROPA commentary, as it he didn’t exist, as if Schurr never shot him in the back of the head.

Third, the GROPA person who posted the comment, then includes a bible verse, which also suggests that if the Schurr family just trusts God then all will be good. Just one of the reasons I despise monotheistic religions, because people can quote religious texts to justify any damn thing they see fit.

Lastly, it is worth bringing up the point that Grand Rapids police Capt. Chad McKersie, who is in charge of the training unit, said about what what Schurr did. He said in the courtroom last Thursday, that “Schurr followed department training and policy” and that, “the use of deadly force was justified.” 

Now, I have no doubt that this is what Captain McKersie believes and teaches to members of the GRPD. The laws around use of force favor the cops and always have. This is why I am not interested in police reform or any of that other bullshit about making cops more sensitive or culturally competent. I am for the abolition of policing. If cops get trained to do what Schurr did to Patrick Lyoya, then anyone who disobeys a cop, resists a cop, tries to defend themselves when cops use force, they could end up just like Patrick Lyoya. If the cop who is in charge of training at the GRPD says that the use of deadly force was justified in this instance, then we all should be outraged and in the streets demanding that the GRPD be defunded and abolished. 

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