The city of Virginia Beach has reached a settlement with the family of Donovan Lynch, a 25-year-old Black man who was fatally shot by police last year, Rolling Stone reports. Lynch was the younger cousin of producer/singer/rapper Pharrell Williams.
Per the settlement, the city will pay $3 million to Lynch’s family. Officials have since acknowledged wrongdoing in how they handled the case.
According to Billboard, Lynch and a friend were at a nightclub when a shooting occurred outside. The men eventually left the club and encountered Officer Solomon D. Simmons while walking toward their car.
“Immediately, unlawfully and without warning, [O]fficer Simmons fired his police-issued firearm at Mr. Lynch, shooting him twice and killing him,” a lawsuit states.
Donovon’s father, Wayne Lynch, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in June 2021 against the city of Virginia Beach. A grand jury later found that Simmons’ action was justified.
News of the settlement comes after the city learned more facts about the shooting.
“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,” reads a joint statement from the city and Lynch’s family.
“We understand that the settlement will in no way lessen the grief and loss for the Lynch family,” the statement continues. “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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