Photo: Shawn Ahmed

Virginia Beach Pays $3M Settlement In The Killing Of Pharrell’s Cousin

The city of Virginia Beach has agreed to pay $3,000,000.00 to settle a lawsuit from the family of a Black man who was shot by police during a chaotic night of violence on the city’s oceanfront last year. The city and the family of Donovon Lynch – a cousin of musician and Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams — announced the agreement late Tuesday (12.13.)

In June 0f 2021, Wayne Lynch, Donovon’s father, filed a $50,000,000.00 million wrongful death lawsuit against the city and police officer Solomon D. Simmons, who is also Black.

Lynch’s shooting occurred one night in March night near the city’s crowded boardwalk. Lined with restaurants and hotels, the evening ended in chaos after separate outbreaks of gunfire with at least eight people wounded and one woman, who was believed to be a bystander, killed.

A former college football player, Lynch (25) was at a nightclub with his friend when a shooting occurred outside. The men left the venue and walked toward their cars when they encountered Simmons. The lawsuit goes on to state “Immediately, unlawfully and without warning, officer Simmons fired his police-issued firearm at Mr. Lynch, shooting him twice and killing him,”

In November of last year, a special grand jury found that Simmons was justified. Authorities said Lynch pointed his gun toward a parking lot filled with people and police yet Tuesday’s joint statement said more has been learned “about the facts of that fateful night and encounter.”

“(W)e have come to understand that a series of unfortunate occurrences led to Donovon’s death that night — which in hindsight should never have occurred as it was later determined that neither Donovon nor the officer set in motion the events that transpired,” the statement said.

The above settlement comes more than a month after Pharrell Williams announced that his music festival, Something in the Water, would return to Virginia Beach. When the festival pulled out of Virginia Beach in 2021, the Grammy-winning musician had said “toxic energy” had run the city for too long and that he wished it had taken a more proactive stance after police shot Lynch. Last month, Williams said demand for the festival in Virginia Beach has “never wavered. If anything it has only intensified.”

Keep up with the latest trending music news by following us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Author: Saul Goode

Photo: Shawn Ahmed