A Virginia Beach cop who killed a relative of superproducer Pharrell Williams won’t be charged.
The officer, Solomon Simmons, shot Donovon Lynch, a Pharrell’s 25-year-old cousin, in a dark parking lot back in March, the Washington Post reports. A special grand jury that was called to hear the case voted on Monday not to charge Simmons.
The case looks a lot like other police shootings: a cop who claimed he had no choice but to shoot because the victim had a weapon in his hand, witnesses and friends of the deceased who say the cops are lying and an outraged family who won’t get the justice of a day in criminal court.
From the Washington Post
Simmons said he thought he heard a gun being cocked and glanced over and saw a man crouched behind some bushes surrounding the parking lot where the shooting had just occurred. Simmons said the man started to rise with his weapon. The officer said he thought the man might start to open fire on officers and other people milling about in the parking lot.
Simmons said he shouted something he could not remember to Lynch.
“He turned around toward me,” Simmons said. “I remember firing three rounds, three gunshots at him.”
Lynch fell to the ground and later died.
Lynch’s family members did not immediately comment Tuesday, but in a lawsuit filed against police they contend he was fired upon without warning and posed no threat at the time of the shooting. Lynch’s family said he sometimes worked in security and had a gun that he was legally carrying that night.
Both Simmons and Lynch are Black.
Lynch’s family isn’t letting the issue go so easily. They’re suing the city of Virginia Beach and Simmons for $50 million. Pharrell hasn’t stayed silent, either. USA Today reported back in April that the multiple Grammy winner wants to see a federal investigation into Lynch’s killing, and that last month, he pushed back when local officials asked him to consider hosting a music festival in the area.