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Thursday, September 16, 2021

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An amended complaint is filed by Donovon Lynch’s family against the Virginia Beach policeman who fatally shot him

A complaint has been filed by the father of Donovon Lynch against the police officer who fatally shot his son. The father claims the officer’s misconduct is the “rule” rather than the ‘exception’ in the Virginia Beach Police Department. 

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A complaint has been filed by the father of Donovon Lynch against the police officer who fatally shot his son. The father claims the officer’s misconduct is the “rule” rather than the ‘exception’ in the Virginia Beach Police Department. 

The amendment was filed by Wayne Lynch on Monday (Aug. 9) as part of the Lynch family’s ongoing wrongful death suit, which seeks damages of $50 million. Solomon D. Simmons III, are the police officer involved in Donovon’s death, is named in the lawsuit. 

A reasonable, appropriately trained officer would not have acted in that fashion during the night of Donovon’s death, according to the amended complaint. During the shooting, the officer did not activate his body-worn camera, and fired without warning at donovon, rendered no aid to him afterward, and moved his body around after shooting him, “contributing to his death,” according to the complaint. 

It is also claimed that Donovon was alive for 14 minutes after he was shot, but he was taken to a hospital, four miles away, only after he was pronounced dead. 

“From the events of the night Mr. Lynch was killed by officer Simmons, it is reasonable to conclude that the Virginia Beach Police Department does not have policies and procedures in place to ensure that all officer use of force is within legal, constitutional limits, or to suggest that they do, but do not properly train their officers on them,” the complaint reads. 

In addition to Lynch’s death, the Lynch family said that the department has faced a “steady stream of lawsuits” since 2015, including lawsuits filed by the victims’ families of police officers who conducted fatal shootings in those two years. 

According to the complaint, Simmons’ use of force was not an aberration that indicated a ‘rogue’ officer. “Officer Simmons does not stand out from the rest at VBPD. He is the rule.” 

Earlier this year, Donovon cousin, Pharrell Williams’, was murdered by police. According to Virginia Beach police, officer Simmons called out to Donovon before shooting him, but this has been denied by a witness.   

According to police, Lynch pointed a handgun at Simmons and described him as an “armed citizen.” After the press conference, however, the department stated no evidence existed that the gun found “in the area” belonged to the 25-year-old. 

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