Photo: Getty Images
  /  12.15.2022

Pharrell Williams’ family has reached a $3 million settlement with the city of Virginia Beach in their wrongful death lawsuit for his late cousin Donovon Lynch. On Tuesday (Dec. 13), City council approved the nine-figure settlement, which is expected to go to the Donovon Lynch Foundation, reported 13 News Now.

On Wednesday (Dec. 14), Wayne Lynch, Donovon’s father, said the agreement is the justice his son deserves. “I can smile today with confidence, peace of mind, and a broken heart. Donovon is vindicated,” said Wayne during a press conference.

In a joint statement, the city and the young man’s estate said, “As we have learned more over time about the facts of that fateful night and encounter, we 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. We understand that the settlement will in no way lessen the grief and loss for the Lynch family.”

As previously reported by REVOLT, Donovon was fatally shot by police officer Solomon Simmons on March 26, 2021 in the city’s Oceanfront area. The 25-year-old had been out with a friend when the tragedy unfolded. Simmons was responding to a shooting in the area when he encountered Donovon and his friend. The officer claimed that the college graduate brandished a gun when he opened fire.

Three months later, in June, Wayne filed a $50 million lawsuit against the city and Simmons, demanding a jury trial. Two months later, the suit was amended with Wayne citing the officer’s use of excessive force as evidence of the department’s history of inadequate policies. In documents obtained by The Associated Press, the suit stated, “Immediately, unlawfully, and without warning, officer Simmons fired his police-issued firearm at Mr. Lynch, shooting him twice and killing him.” Simmons was ultimately not charged after a grand jury agreed the shooting was justified.

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