Pharrell is calling for a federal investigation into the death of his cousin who was fatally shot by a Virginia Beach police officer last month.
On Tuesday (April 6), the mega-producer took to Instagram to share his request while honoring the late Donovon Wayne Lynch. “Thank you God for my 48th lap around the Sun,” he captioned a photo of his cousin. “This one is symbolic and a first because I had to speak at my cousin’s funeral, and was choked up with emotions. Too many unanswered City and State questions. Respectfully, I am calling for a Federal investigation. I also humbly ask that you all keep the family in prayer. His name is Donovon Wayne Lynch.”
On March 26, Lynch was hanging out with friends at the Virginia Beach oceanfront. Shortly before he was shot and killed, two nearby shootings occurred. Police claim that Lynch, a Black man, brandished a handgun, but his family says he had a concealed carry permit and kept his gun hidden.
The identity of the officer who shot Lynch has yet to be revealed to the public. The officer will remain on administrative assignment pending the investigation, which police say is their standard procedure. His body camera was reportedly turned off during the shooting, which is against policy. The city’s police department has turned the investigation into Lynch’s death over to the Virginia State Police.
After the news of Lynch’s passing surfaced, Pharrell mourned the loss of his cousin on Instagram and asked for transparency in the police’s investigation. “The loss of these lives is a tragedy beyond measure,” he wrote. “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,” his post continued. “Virginia Beach is the epitome of hope and tenacity and, as a community, we will get through this and come out even stronger.