Pharrell wants federal probe into police shooting of cousin


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NewsNation Now) — Grammy award-winning musician Pharrell Williams has called for a federal investigation into the fatal police shooting of his cousin along the Virginia coast.

Williams made the call in an Instagram post Monday after attending his cousin’s funeral in Virginia Beach, where Williams grew up.

“I had to speak at my cousin’s funeral, and was choked up with emotions,” he wrote on the social media post. “Too many unanswered City and State questions. Respectfully, I am calling for a Federal investigation. I also humbly ask that you all keep the family in prayer.”

An email to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia was not immediately returned.

Williams previously posted a tribute to his cousin on social media last month, just two days after the shooting saying, “he was a bright light and someone who always showed up for others.”

Donovon Lynch, 25, was killed in the early morning hours of March 27 along the city’s popular oceanfront strip of hotels and restaurants shortly after two other nearby shootings unleashed chaos. Police said Lynch, a Black man, had a handgun and that it was recovered from the scene. But the officer’s body camera had not been activated. The officer who killed Lynch is also Black.

A total of 10 people were wounded by gunfire, including Lynch and a second person who died, according to police. The bystander who died in the second shooting incident was Deshayla E. Harris, 28, of the nearby city of Norfolk, police said.

The city’s police department recently turned over the investigation into Lynch’s death to the Virginia State Police. At least six have been arrested in connection with the shootings. A seventh man was charged with driving under the influence and hit-and-run for allegedly hitting the officer with a car.

Lynch’s father told NewsNation affiliate WAVY that his son was “a father’s dream.”

Lynch lived in Virginia Beach. He was an offensive lineman for the University of Virginia’s College at Wise during the 2017 and 2018 seasons and a 2019 graduate of the school.

NewsNation affiliate WAVY and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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