January 23, 2022

Outrage Grows in Virginia Seashore After Resolution To not Cost Cop Who Shot and Killed Donovan Lynch

5 min read


Following the choice on Tuesday to not charge a Virginia Beach police officer for the shooting death of 25-year-old Donovan Lynch in March, Lynch’s household and supporters expressed dismay on the deserves of the investigation and made recent requires the feds to deal with the matter.

We’re disillusioned, however not stunned,” stated Wayne Lynch, Donovan’s father, in a press convention amongst supporters on Wednesday. “This isn’t over, it’s simply begun,” he added, interesting to the Division of Justice. “I want justice for my son.”

Instantly following the capturing of Lynch, which gained nationwide consideration, partly, as a result of Lynch was a cousin of musician and Virginia Seashore native Pharrell Williams, the Virginia Seashore Police Division turned the investigation over to the Virginia State Police.

However in line with Virginia Seashore Commonwealth’s Lawyer Colin Stolle in a press convention on Tuesday, that unbiased investigation stalled as a result of plenty of residents who witnessed the capturing refused to cooperate.

In August, a particular grand jury was convened to weigh in on the case.

In response to a grand jury report, after taking a look at over 100 hours of physique digital camera and surveillance footage, in addition to testimony from witnesses and consultants, the grand jury discovered no possible trigger to consider Solomon Simmons, a Virginia Seashore officer, “unlawfully” shot and killed Lynch. They agreed he’d acted in “justifiable self-defense.”

On March 26, the night time of the capturing, the report famous there was “chaos” on the Virginia Seashore waterfront the place Lynch, a 6’5” Black former faculty lineman and youth volunteer coordinator in Virginia Seashore, had been having dinner with a good friend.

A capturing incident close by that resulted in 9 folks shot and didn’t contain Lynch drew a big police presence as they tried to find suspects and victims, the report stated. After rendering assist to a capturing sufferer, Simmons turned off his physique digital camera upon returning to his automobile and when extra gunfire erupted almost half-hour later, he didn’t flip the digital camera again on as he ran right into a parking zone that had was a “warfare zone,” in line with the report.

Whereas leaving the parking zone, Simmons testified that he heard the racking of a gun and noticed a person standing close to tall bushes. Somebody shouted “gun, gun, gun” and Simmons shot Lynch, in line with the report.

Beforehand, Simmons has argued in court docket filings as a part of Lynch’s household’s ongoing civil go well with in opposition to Simmons that Lynch “rose and turned” with a gun in hand and pointed in Simmons’ path earlier than he shot.

Among the many report’s suggestions had been that protocols be put into place to make sure all physique cameras are mechanically turned on when officers are on responsibility. Already Lynch’s demise has resulted within the current creation of an independent civilian review board that may examine civilian complaints and police insurance policies.

Native minister and activist Gary McCollum, who has been an advocate for Lynch’s household, advised The Each day Beast he was upset by the dearth of solutions within the four-page grand jury report, in addition to the Virginia Seashore Commonwealth’s Lawyer’s Workplace press convention presenting it. He famous what he believed to be “pointless” references to Lynch’s top, weight, and blood alcohol content material in the course of the press confernece.

McCollum stated the factors appeared to be geared toward “impugning” Lynch’s character. He additionally stated the investigation didn’t deal with what Lynch, a licensed gun-owner on the time, was in his proper to do within the midst of a capturing scene that concerned over 50 photographs being fired earlier than he was shot.

“The second modification applies to all people,” McCullom advised The Each day Beast. “In case you are licensed to hold a weapon and also you hear 50 photographs go off and you’ve got a weapon on you, which you’re legally allowed to have, what would you do?”

The Virginia Seashore Commonwealth’s Lawyer Workplace didn’t reply to a direct request for remark.

McCullom famous that the grand jury report discovered no proof that Lynch ever pointed a weapon at Simmons earlier than he was shot and is just alleged to have racked his gun as he hid behind the bushes. “A law-abiding gun proprietor with a license to hold that weapon would do precisely what Donovan did,” he stated.

Aaron Rouse, a Black, Virginia Seashore Metropolis Councilman, who stated he’s 6’4” and a hid weapons allow holder, reiterated as a lot whereas standing alongside Lynch’s household at a press convention.

“I can solely take into consideration that night time, that night time with all these gunshots going off, and I’m hiding behind a bush. I’m going to have my weapon out defending myself as effectively,” he stated.

Simmons is a Black officer, however McCollum stated he believes Lynch’s race performed a job within the capturing. “It’s as if we’re the risk,” he stated. “All we’re saying is that there was nothing that he was doing that was unlawful. For that officer to fireplace his weapon 3 times at Donovan, it was not the ‘affordable’ plan of action.”

In a press release on Tuesday, Simmons stated he was “gratified” to have his identify cleared of wrongdoing.

“The previous eight months have been a making an attempt time for me and my household, as I’m positive it has been for the Lynch household. Not a day goes by that I don’t take into consideration that night time,” Simmons stated. “Because the Grand Jury’s report said, I used to be positioned in an extremely chaotic state of affairs, one which required me to make a troublesome, split- second choice. My coronary heart goes out to the Lynch household for his or her loss, and I’ll proceed to wish for them as I’ve accomplished on daily basis since this occurred.”

Regardless of the seeming decision within the case, Lynch’s household, McCollum and different supporters are hopeful additional investigation will occur.

“There are simply too many unanswered questions,” McCollum stated, highlighting the necessity for a federal investigation. “That’s the one means you’re going to get the solutions. Having the police examine the police goes to get us what we received yesterday.”

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