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Michigan police officer charged with murder in shooting death of Patrick Lyoya

June 9 (UPI) -- Kent County Michigan Prosecutor Chris Becker on Thursday charged Grand Rapids police officer Christopher Schurr with second-degree murder in the death of Patrick Lyoya.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released the following statement on the case:

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"At the Department of Attorney General, we understand the exceptional resources needed to evaluate police-involved shooting deaths and I commend Prosecutor Becker, his team and the Michigan State Police for the exhaustive review conducted these last two months. We must now respect the judicial process and allow the facts of the case to be presented in court."

Schurr shot Lyoya during a scuffle following a traffic stop on April 4.

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He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

"I wouldn't charge it if I didn't think I could prove it," Becker told media gathered in the Michigan State Police precinct just northwest of Grand Rapids.

An autopsy ordered by Lyoya's family showed he had been shot in the back of the head.

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Family attorney Ven Johnson noted that although Lyoya did resist arrest, the autopsy shows he was "was not actively fighting this officer, hence you have no physical injuries to the knuckles, face, body."

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Lyoya was a 26-year-old Congolese refugee. His killing led to protests in Grand Rapids, Detroit and elsewhere.

During the traffic stop, Lyoya appeared confused about what was happening and tried to pull away from the officer, leading to a struggle that ended with Schurr killing Lyoya.

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The shooting was investigated by the Michigan State Police.

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