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Donovon Lynch’s family files amended complaint against Virginia Beach cop who fatally shot him

The family of Pharrell’s cousin alleged a “decades-old” problem within the Virginia Beach Police Department.

Caution tape Yegor Aleyev/TASS

The father of Donovon Lynch has filed an amended complaint against the police officer who shot and killed his son alleging that the officer’s misconduct is the “rule” rather than the “exception” when it comes to the Virginia Beach Police Department.

Wayne Lynch filed the amendment on Monday (Aug. 9) in the Lynch family’s continued wrongful death lawsuit, which seeks $50 million in damages. Solomon D. Simmons III, the cop who fatally shot Donovon on March 26, is named in the suit.

According to the amended complaint, Simmons behaved in a way that “no reasonable, appropriately trained officer would have” on the night of Donovon’s death. The officer failed to activate his body-worn camera, shot Donovon without warning, did not render him any aid and “moved his body around the area” after shooting him, “contributing to his death,” the complaint alleges.

The complaint also claims Donovon was alive for 14 minutes after he was shot but was only brought to a hospital, located four miles away, after he was pronounced dead.

“Based on the events of the night officer Simmons killed Mr. Lynch, it can be reasonably inferred that the Virginia Beach Police Department either has inadequate policies and procedures to keep officer use of force within lawful, constitutional limits; or that the Virginia Beach Police Department has such policies but fails to train its officers to follow them,” the complaint reads.

Lynch's family also cited the “steady stream of lawsuits” facing the department, including lawsuits filed by the families of victims killed by Virginia Beach police officers in 2015 and 2019.

“Officer Simmons’ use of force was not an aberration particular to a ‘rogue’ officer,” the complaint adds. “Officer Simmons is not an exception at VBPD. He is the rule.”

As reported by REVOLT, Donovon, who is Pharrell Williams’ cousin, was shot and killed by police earlier this year. The Virginia Beach Police Department has claimed that officer Simmons “called out” to Donovon before shooting him, but this has been denied by a witness.

Police also claimed Lynch pointed a gun at Simmons and called him an “armed citizen.” However, at a press conference, the department later said there was no evidence that a gun found “in the vicinity” belonged to the 25-year-old.

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