Donovan Lynch, Pharrell Williams’ 25-year-old cousin, was shot and killed by Virginia Beach Police on March 27. Wayne Lynch, his father, has now filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit.
According to The New York Daily News, the lawsuit claims the police officer, who has been identified as Solomon D. Simmons in the suit but not by police, was responding to a separate shooting incident at a club on March 26. Lynch and his friend, Darrion Marsh were leaving the area when they crossed paths with the officer.
The suit alleges Simmons “immediately, unlawfully, and without warning” fired his gun at Lynch.
Court documents said, “Mr. Lynch posed no threat to Officer Simmons or anyone else.”
Simmons is accused of using excessive force and acting with gross negligence.
Homicide detective findings claimed Lynch was “brandishing a handgun at the time of the shooting.” Wayne Lynch told The Washington Post that his son, who sometimes worked security, had a legal firearm but was not “brandishing.”
We’ve made several attempts to have something done, to have the word ‘brandishing’ redacted from their statement [about what happened],” Wayne Lynch explained to the outlet. “They’ve refused to do that. They haven’t done anything.”
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On March 27, Pharrell Williams posted a tribute to his cousin on Instagram, which read, “The loss of these lives is a tragedy beyond measure. My cousin Donovon was killed during the shootings. He was a bright light and someone who always showed up for others. It is critical my family and the other victims’ families get the transparency, honesty and justice they deserve.”
The city has not commented on the lawsuit.