Fact Check: Is There Really A GoFundMe For The Officer That Killed Patrick Lyoya?
Following the announcement on Monday that Officer Christopher Schurr was the man who shot and killed Patrick Lyoya, a GoFundMe link began to appear on social media, raising funds for the officer. But is it legit?
Is The GoFundMe Page For Christopher Schurr Real?
The GoFundMe page appears to have been published just hours following the GRPD announcement that Christopher Schurr was the officer involved in the fatal shooting of Patrick Lyoya on April 4th.
The public page's creator is listed as Rebecca Hawkins, she claims to be a friend of the family and is raising funds to meet basic needs:
I have been trying to help the family navigate this difficult time and meet their basic needs as their safety has been compromised. Unexpected living expenses have come up that is related to their security. Many have reached out to ask how they can support this officer and his family. With the media release of Officer Schurr’s name, this page was created as a place for people to reach out and help in a tangible way.
Is Christopher Schurr still being paid while he's on administrative leave?
Some are skeptical of the GoFundMe because, according to Kent County Commissioner Robert S Womack, the officer is still being paid during his leave, making some wonder why the GoFundMe would be necessary.
According to public records, he was paid a salary of $89,454 in 2020, so it's assumed he's still making at least that amount while on paid leave.
Will Christopher Schurr Have Legal Fees to pay in the shooting death of Patrick Lyoya?
At this time, no charges have been filed, but with noted civil rights attorney Ben Crump joining the Lyoya family's legal team, it is likely a civil suit is coming, if not criminal charges from the Kent County prosecutor's office.
But as a member of a police union, Officer Schurr likely has resources to legal representation that wouldn't be afforded to the general public. As noted by TheBalanceCareers.com, legal representation is a major benefit of being in a union:
They also notably include legal representation for situations that may arise on the job. That legal representation can prove indispensable if you ever find yourself in trouble or under investigation by internal affairs.
What is the response from the organizer of the GoFundMe for Christopher Schurr
Shortly after the GoFundMe went live, these questions were sent, along with a contact email address, to the page's contact, Rebecca Hawkins:
- What are these funds to be used for?
- Isn't Officer Schurr still being paid while on administrative leave?
- Will they be used for legal fees if Officer Schurr is charged in Patrick Lyoya's killing?
- What is your relationship to the Schurr family?
As of this posting, there has been no response from the organizer of the GoFundMe. We've also reached out to the Lyoya Family Legal team for comment on this matter.