Father of Pharrell’s cousin killed in police shooting files $50M federal lawsuit


The father of Pharrell Williams’ late cousin filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit Monday after his son was fatally shot by police in Virginia.

Wayne Lynch claimed his 25-year-old son, Donovan, was a “young, innocent, black man” who was shot “unlawfully and without warning” in March by a cop responding to a shooting that did not involve him.

The suit, filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, is against the City of Virginia Beach as well as city cop Solomon Simmons III, who had not previously been identified as the shooter.

The lawsuit said that the star producer’s cousin was a victim of “arbitrary, deadly violence by the police” while innocently walking to his car with friends after a night out.

“Officer Simmons was on his way to respond to an incident in which Mr. Lynch was not a suspect and not involved,” the lawsuit said of a mass shooting that happened nearby.

“Mr. Lynch posed no threat to Officer Simmons or anyone else,” the lawsuit said, describing the 6-foot-5, 305-pound former linebacker “a gentle giant — and a man who could not be mistaken for another.”

But “Virginia Beach Police Officer Solomon D Simmons shot Mr. Lynch twice, killing him on the streets he grew up on,” the lawsuit insisted.

Virginia Beach police at the scene of where Donovan Lynch was shot by a police officer on March 27, 2021.

Police at the time said Lynch was “brandishing” a gun, an allegation his family and witnesses have repeatedly denied, the Virginian-Pilot noted.

The cop failed to identify himself, did not activate his body camera and shot Lynch before attempting to stop him in a “non-violent or non-lethal manner,” the lawsuit alleged.

Simmons also “failed to render life-saving medical aide … after shooting him twice,” according to the suit.

The grieving dad is seeking $50 million plus costs on seven counts, including wrongful death, excessive force and gross negligence. His legal team includes Alex Spiro, a high-profile attorney who has represented the likes of Jay-Z, Robert Kraft and billionaire Tesla founder Elon Musk.

Pharrell — a Virginia Beach native — first shared news of his cousin’s death in a since-deleted social media post. He later spoke at Lynch’s memorial service in April and has called for a federal probe.

City spokeswoman Julie Hill told The Virginian-Pilot Monday that the city had not received service of the lawsuit and could not comment. “Once we receive and digest it, we will respond to it accordingly,” she said.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.