$3M deal reached over police shooting of Pharrell’s cousin

Dec 13, 2022, 11:37 PM | Updated: Dec 14, 2022, 2:22 pm
FILE - A person places a candle near a memorial for Donovon Lynch during a vigil on Tuesday, March ...

FILE - A person places a candle near a memorial for Donovon Lynch during a vigil on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in Virginia Beach, Va. The city of Virginia Beach will pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit from the family of Donovon Lynch, a Black man who was shot by police during a chaotic night of violence on the city’s oceanfront last year. (Kaitlin McKeown/The Virginian-Pilot via AP, File)

(Kaitlin McKeown/The Virginian-Pilot via AP, File)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — The city of Virginia Beach will pay $3 million 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.

Wayne Lynch, Dononvon’s father, filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit in June 2021 against the city and police officer Solomon D. Simmons, who is also Black.

Lynch’s shooting occurred on a warm March night near the city’s crowded boardwalk, which is lined with restaurants and hotels. The evening dissolved into chaos after separate outbreaks of gunfire. At least eight people were wounded and one woman, who was believed to be a bystander, was killed.

Lynch, 25, a former college football player, was at a nightclub with his friend when a shooting occurred outside, the lawsuit stated. The men left and walked toward their cars when they encountered Simmons.

“Immediately, unlawfully and without warning, officer Simmons fired his police-issued firearm at Mr. Lynch, shooting him twice and killing him,” the lawsuit states.

In November 2021, a special grand jury found that Simmons was justified. Authorities said Lynch had a gun and racked a round into the chamber before pointing his weapon toward a parking lot filled with people and police.

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 statement didn’t elaborate.

The settlement comes more than a month after 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.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - An American flag is flown next to the Chinese national emblem during a welcome ceremony at t...
Associated Press

China plays down Blinken’s canceled visit over balloon

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — China played down the cancellation of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken after a large Chinese balloon suspected of conducting surveillance on U.S. military sites roiled diplomatic relations, saying that neither side had formally announced any such plan. “In actuality, the U.S. and China have never announced any […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Ohio train derailment causes causes fire, home evacuations

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (AP) — A train derailed in an Ohio town near the Pennsylvania border and caused a large fire followed by orders for area residents to evacuate their homes Friday night, reports said. A post on the East Palestine, Ohio, city Facebook page around 11 p.m. said an evacuation order had been issued […]
1 day ago
Pope Francis delivers his speech as he meets with priests, deacons, consecrated people and seminari...
Associated Press

Pope encourages South Sudanese, will raise plight of women

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — Pope Francis sought Saturday to console the long-suffering people of South Sudan as he opened his first full day in a country beset by conflict, poverty and humanitarian crises, encouraging priests and nuns to serve their flocks by joining in their tears. After arriving in the world’s newest country on […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Indian police nab over 2,000 men for illegal child marriages

GUWAHATI, India (AP) — Indian police have arrested more than 2,000 men in a crackdown on illegal child marriages involving girls under the age of 18 in a northeastern state, officials said Saturday. Those arrested this week included more than 50 Hindu priests and Muslim clerics for allegedly performing marriages for underage girls in Assam, […]
1 day ago
FILE - The Starbucks logo is seen on a storefront, Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, in Boston Starbucks repor...
Associated Press

Starbucks misses sales, revenue estimates as China falters

Starbucks reported lower-than-expected sales in its fiscal first quarter, with COVID store shutdowns in China overshadowing stronger results elsewhere.
1 day ago
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi speaks during a news conference of the Association of Sou...
Associated Press

ASEAN vows to conclude pact with China on disputed territory

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Southeast Asian foreign ministers vowed to finalize negotiations with China over a proposed pact aimed at preventing conflicts in the disputed South China Sea in their annual retreat on Saturday in Indonesia’s capital. In the final session of their two-day meeting, the ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations also […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
$3M deal reached over police shooting of Pharrell’s cousin