VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Family of Donovon Lynch, who was shot dead by a Virginia Beach Police officer at Oceanfront in March, hold a press conference after Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s attorney announced that the officer will not be charged in Lynch’s death.
Press conference to be held at HIVE at 140 Independence Avenue at 1pm on December 1
During the conference, family members, friends, and supporters called for accountability and transparency from the city, as well as a federal investigation into Lynch’s shooting death following a news report. written report of the special grand jury. No probable cause found to charge Officer Solomon Simmons in Lynch’s death.
The report found that the officer acted in legitimate self-defense for himself and others and found no credible evidence that Lynch was shot by anyone other than police.
President of Due the Right Things, a nonprofit that seeks to “establish an open and transparent platform for the expression of views and ideas to promote justice, equity, and accountability “, posed seven questions that “should be asked” following Lynch’s death.
The questions he asked were as follows:
- “The Assistant Commonwealth Solicitor has released a statement saying the investigation has spent a great deal of time processing the assertions. An investigation should be an investigation, dealing with the facts. What are the events?
- “We continue to see attacks on Donovon Lynch’s character, including his size and blood alcohol level. One of the court’s recommendations (#4) was for police officers to should be tested for alcohol and drugs after a police-related shooting Has that been done?
- “The Second Amendment should apply to everyone. The question we’re asking, based on what was presented yesterday, is what did Donovon Lynch do that broke the law?
- “First, the city said there was no camera footage. Now suddenly we have hundreds of hours. When are we going to see all the footage, including interviews done?
- “Someone made the comment that other DNA was on Donovon Lynch’s weapon. Was it tested against officers present at the scene?
- “Since Donovon Lynch was declared dead after moving, did moving him contribute to his death? Did the bullets teleport during the move?
- “The family and all of us are standing here, we are not against the police. It is interesting that on the bodycam footage we see the officers, before Donovon was shot, showing restraint. Why the that binding is not visible to Donovon?”
Donovon’s father, Wayne Lynch, also spoke at the press conference, calling for justice for his son and describing how Donovon’s death has affected his family. He also commended an unidentified person who stopped providing aid to Donovon after he was shot, saying, “That person is a hero. He should not be defamed.”
“This isn’t over yet. It’s just begun,” he added.
Deshayla Harris’s mother, a reality star was shot dead The same night as Donovon, ended the press conference by saying that she stands with the Lynch family and wants answers about what happened to her daughter. Deshayla’s death remains unsolved.
“Our children are good children,” she said. “They saw the police and thought they were safe.”
Bruce Smith Hall of Fame; Grammy Award Winner Pharrell Williams, a Virginia Beach native and Donovan’s cousin; Reverend Dr. William Barber and several local community activists have both called for a federal investigation into the deadly shooting earlier this year.
According to the press release, Lynch’s family “considerates that nothing was presented in today’s press conference to vindicate the officer who shot Donovon.” They also claim that an independent FBI investigation will provide them with the truth.
Following Wednesday’s press conference, the FBI office in Norfolk released a statement saying: “The FBI office in Norfolk is aware of the situation regarding the shooting death of Officer Donovon Lynch and will be looking into all possible cases. available facts of the case to determine the federal response. is warranted. ”
The City of Virginia Beach released a statement of the grand jury’s decision following Tuesday’s press conference, in part saying, “The death of Donovon Lynch was a tragedy, and his family has suffered greatly. suffered an incalculable loss. The jury’s conclusion doesn’t change that fact. It doesn’t change how people feel about what happened that night.”
Although he does not represent Virginia Beach, Representative Bobby Scott (D-Va., District 3) sent letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to reiterate his earlier request for a federal investigation into police conduct and Lynch’s murder.
Congressman Scott wrote: “Yesterday, the Commonwealth Attorney for Virginia Beach announced that he will not be filing criminal charges against the officer involved in the deadly shooting, leaving many questions unanswered. unanswered for what happened that night,” wrote Senator Scott. “I remain interested in the public reports on how the VBPD handled this matter, the various accounts of the events leading up to Mr. Lynch’s death, and what happened immediately after the shooting. I urge you to move quickly to utilize the full resources and transparency of the United States Department of Justice to conduct an investigation. “
Scott’s letter is a follow-up to a request he made to Garland in April.
The City of Virginia Beach will now conduct an administrative investigation to determine whether the officer followed departmental procedures.
A newly authorized independent citizen review panel will also review the case.
The Lynch Family filed a $50 million lawsuit against the City of Virginia Beach in June.
Timeline of events: