Virginia Beach reaches $3 million settlement over fatal police shooting of Donovon Lynch


The city of Virginia Beach has reached a $3 million settlement with the family of Donovon Lynch – a 25-year-old man who was fatally shot by a police officer last year – the city and the family said in a joint statement.

Lynch died after he was shot in the torso and thigh by a Virginia Beach police officer in March 2021. Officers were responding to a series of shootings on the night Lynch was shot.

Virginia Beach police said both the officer who shot Lynch and another officer told homicide detectives at the time that Lynch – who was a cousin of singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams – had a handgun when he was shot.

Lynch’s father, Wayne, filed the federal lawsuit against the city of Virginia Beach and one of its police officers in the summer of 2021, just months after the deadly encounter.

When the lawsuit was filed, it did not say whether Lynch was in possession of a handgun, but Lynch family attorney Jeff Reichert in April said Lynch was legally allowed to carry a firearm.

A grand jury determined there was no evidence to support criminal charges against the officer who shot Lynch. He was not disciplined by the police department and was returned to full duty, Tiffany M. Russell, a spokesperson for the city in Virginia, told CNN via email Thursday.

“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,” the joint statement said.

“We understand that the settlement will in no way lessen the grief and loss for the Lynch family,” Tuesday’s joint statement said. “The city’s ongoing support for its public safety personnel and its investment in officer education and technological advancements underscores the City’s commitment to providing greater transparency.”

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