Pharrell Williams: the officer who shot his cousin was cleared

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One weekend in March in Virginia Beach, shootings occurred with many victims including Pharrell Williams’ cousin. Donovan Lynch succumbed to bullets from a police officer . On behalf of the whole family, the father of the victim Wayne Lynch filed a federal complaint against this officer. He accuses her of having illegally killed his son when he did not represent any danger. The outcome of this case is now known.


The atmosphere in Virginia Beach that March night was quite dangerous. Donovan Lynch and a friend are said to have visited the town promenade lined with restaurants and hotels. So far, nothing illegal and dangerous since hundreds of people usually do it on warm spring evenings.

However, what started out as any ordinary night quickly turned into a nightmare when repeated live ammunition was heard . At least eight people were injured and a woman (who was certainly a passerby) was killed. Lynch, who was an offensive lineman for the University of Virginia College at Wise team in 2017 and 2018 could not escape this tragic fate. In addition, the officer who shot him, Solomon D. Simmons accuses him of compromising behavior.

The arguments of the prosecutors and the accused officer

During the two-hour press conference on Tuesday, prosecutors went along with the justification for the act taken by Officer Solomon . To this effect, they said that Officer D. Simmons was “  justified in protecting himself and others in the moments following the moment Lynch shot his handgun into the chamber and s’ stood up, pointing his gun at a parking lot filled with several people and police  ”.

To support their arguments, prosecutors showed footage from several police body cameras in the minutes before and after Lynch’s death. They also provided witness statements . In a videotaped statement, Officer Simmons explained that Donovan looked “out of place  .” He also claimed ”  that while he was crouching in the bushes near the parking lot where the shooting took place and while he was holding a gun, he heard a racket gun  .” “  thought he was going to start shooting in the parking lot,  ” Simmons said.

Elsewhere, the officer remembers saying something to Lynch, although he doesn’t remember exactly what. As the gunman turned around, Simmons fired, fatally injuring him.

A verdict difficult for the applicants to accept

Today, The Star reports that the police officer responsible for the young man’s death has been cleared by a special grand jury. Indeed, with such arguments from justice and the defendant, the outcome of this hearing left no room for suspense. As might be expected, this decision offers a bitter taste for those close to the victim who demanded justice. It is above all a blow for his father who claimed 50 million dollars for wrongful death committed “immediately, illegally and without warning”.

Note that the friend of the deceased, Darrion Marsh who witnessed the scene told the Virginian-Pilot that “  Lynch never took the gun out of his shorts  .” This is to say that in reality, the victim was indeed carrying a weapon.

It is also a pain for the singer Pharrell Williams who was very affected by this tragedy. Indeed, in the spring of 2021, the interpreter of “Happy” instead of partying and rejoicing spent his 48th birthday honoring his 25-year-old cousin, Donovan Lynch. Very upset against this verdict, the fairly frank singer would have sent a letter to city officials last month. He would have informed them that his “Something in the Water” music festival will not be returning to Virginia Beach .

In your opinion, was the officer at fault? Did he deliberately shoot Donovan? Or would he really have adopted a dangerous behavior?

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