An attorney for a Grand Rapids, Mich. police officer charged with second-degree murder in the killing of a Black man said at the officer's arraignment that his client ''was justified in his use of force,'' CNN reported.
Christopher Schurr's lawyer Mark Dodge argued on Friday that Schurr, who is white, was not guilty of the charge when he fatally shot Patrick Lyoya in the back of the head on April 4 while attempting to arrest him over a traffic violation.
Dodge also said that Schurr has offered ''nothing but cooperation'' during the investigation.
The 26-year-old's death has received national attention after videos of the traffic stop were revealed to the public, Bridge Michigan reported.
Lyoya can be seen in video footage running from Schurr before being chased down. Then, after scuffling with the officer for several minutes, Lyoya was shot. An autopsy report revealed that Lyoya was severely intoxicated at the time, with a blood alcohol level at more than three times the legal limit for driving.
Lyoya, an immigrant from the Democratic Republic of Congo, reportedly had a revoked driver's license and two outstanding arrest warrants when he was pulled over. One of the warrants was issued on April 1 for a domestic violence charge, according to MLive.
In an April statement, the Grand Rapids Police Officers Association called the situation ''tragic'' but defended the actions taken by Schurr to subdue Lyoya.
The union wrote that it feels a ''thorough review of this entire situation will show that a police officer has the legal right to protect themselves and community in a volatile dangerous situation such as this, in order to return to his/her family at the end of their shift.''
A judge set Schurr's bail at $100,000, conditioned upon his not drinking alcohol, using drugs or possessing guns — among other requirements, according to CNN.
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