Pharrell is the mourning the loss of his cousin Donovon Lynch who was one of two people shot and killed during three separate shooting incidencies in Virginia Beach, Virginia on Friday night (March 26). According to CNN, Lynch was fatally wounded by a Virginia Beach police officer who claimed he was wielding a handgun. The Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said the 25-year-old died after he was shot in the torso and thigh.
The Grammy Award-winning artist, who’s a native of Virginia Beach, took his grief to Instagram on Monday (March 29) and used his platform to ask for justice.
“The loss of these lives is a tragedy beyond measure,” Pharrell wrote alongside a photo of Lynch. “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. Virginia Beach is the epitome of hope and tenacity and, as a community, we will get through this and come out even stronger.”
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The unidentified officer involved in Lynch’s death, who’s been with the department for five years, was placed on administrative assignment during a criminal investigation, which is standard procedure. Complicating matters is the absence of body cam footage. The officer failed to activate the camera during the fatal encounter for unknown reasons as noted by Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate.
Virginia Beach Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney said it will use its own investigators to look into the shooting. A public information officer with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Macie Allen, wrote in an email: “The police department conducts their own investigation and provides us with their findings. We then review both investigations and determine whether or not charges are appropriate.”
Following the criminal investigations, the police department’s internal affairs unit will conduct a policy and procedures review to determine what course of action to take.
Pharrell has found plenty of support from his famous peers in the comment section of his post. Jermaine Dupri, Queen Latifah, Swizz Beatz, De La Soul’s Pos, Prince affiliate Sheila E and Slim Thug were among the many sending their condolences.