Shelby Township Police Chief Robert Shelide said the media was ‘evil’, the arrest of Grand Rapids Police Officer Christopher Schurr was one of the most ‘disgusting things “he had ever seen, and that he would rather his agents not work than face the prospect of going to jail doing their job.
The 36-year-old law enforcement veteran made the comments to GOP Gov. Tudor Dixon’s favorite on Tuesday during a roundtable with suburban police chiefs and state union officials. This is the same leader who was suspended for 30 days in 2020 for tweeting that he wanted to see BLM protesters in New York, who turned violent, in body bags.
Dixon, of Norton Shores near Muskegon, was endorsed by the Police Officers Association of Michigan and defended Schurr after he shot motorist Patrick Lyoya in the back of the head during an apparent struggle for his taser. Schurr was charged last month with second-degree murder.
Shelide asked Dixon to maintain his support for law enforcement in the face of growing public scrutiny and to “totally shut down the media.”
“The media… they will never be your friends as a Conservative,” the longtime leader said. “They’re evil. And you don’t have to worry about what they think or say, with their stupid questions and accusations.”
Shelide was one of many officials at the meeting who lamented the charges against Schurr and described feeling beleaguered by what they see as aggressive prosecutors and negative public perception.
“It took the form that we are malicious, or have bad intentions, or are evil people,” said Romulus Police Chief Robert Pfannes. “Character assassination, which gets you sued because you can be judged in a way that literally no human could experience. I can’t ask anyone to go out there and be perfect. “
After a Romulus officer described “the most dangerous place for me to work” as “in the administrative hallway” – a reference to risking being charged with wrongdoing and facing criminal charges – Shelide said that if he was in charge of this department, he “tell my guys not to do anything.” Romulus is in Wayne County, where Democratic District Attorney Kym Worthy has earned a reputation for being tough on problem cops, while Shelby Township falls under Republican District Attorney Macomb Pete Lucido, a conservative, who is charged in a federal lawsuit, along with Shelide, with wrongfully arresting and prosecuting a Black Lives Matter protester in Shelby Township.
“Why would I want them to risk going to jail when they have their families?” Shelide said. “Now I’m in a wealthy community and our community loves us…but if I was in one of those communities where I knew a step away they were going to jail, I would whisper to all the ears: “Get your groceries, do the bare minimum, collect your check and we’ll all get home safely. ‘”