The family of Donovan Lynch, Pharrell’s cousin who was killed by police earlier this year, has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Virginia Beach as well as the officer who allegedly shot their son.
According to WAVY-TV, Donovan’s father, Wayne Lynch, filed a wrongful death suit Monday, about four months after the 25-year-old was shot and killed by officer Solomon Simmons III. The tragedy occurred March 26, while Simmons was responding to reports of a shooting in Virginia Beach. The suit states Donovan and a friend were leaving a restaurant when gunshots were fired in the area at around 11 p.m. Wayne says that although his son was not involved with the shooting, Simmons “immediately, unlawfully, and without warning” fired multiple shots at his son, resulting in his death. Authorities claimed Donovan was brandishing a gun at the time of the incident; however, witnesses have denied the allegations.
“Officer Simmons was on his way to respond to an incident in which Mr. Lynch was not a suspect and not involved,” the lawsuit reads. “Mr. Lynch posed no threat to Officer Simmons or anyone else … [but] Virginia Beach Police Officer Solomon D Simmons shot Mr. Lynch twice, killing him on the streets he grew up on.”
Although the Virginia Beach Police Department has not identified Simmons as Donovan’s shooter, Wayne is reportedly seeking $350,000 in damages from the officer and $50 million from the city. The officer is accused of acting with gross negligence and using excessive during the deadly incident. The lawsuit also claims Simmons failed to provide medical aid following the shooting.
The VBPD and city attorney have yet to comment on the suit.
Days after Donovan’s death, Pharrell called for more “transparency, honesty, and justice.” The multi-hyphenate spent his 48th birthday attending his cousin’s funeral, where he delivered an emotional speech through tears.
“We had to bury my cousin on my birthday,” he said during a recent Town & Country interview. “It was bittersweet. The way he died was bitter. Where he is right now is sweet … I wasn’t able to deliver the speech with the fire and intention I wanted, because I was just choked with emotion.”