Pharrell’s Family Is Suing Virginia Beach For $50M In Wrongful Death Lawsuit Of 25-Year-Old Cousin

Song producer and musical artist Pharrell Williams’s cousin got shot and killed by Virginia Beach police and was buried on his birthday. Now the family is seeking $50 million from the city and requesting a jury trial in a wrong death lawsuit.

Donovon Lynch was allegedly killed by officer Solomon Simmons, though the police department has not confirmed the officer’s identity, Revolt.TV reported.


Lynch’s father, Wayne Lynch, and the rest of family members, are accusing Simmons of excessive force and his 25-year-old son was fatally while being innocent.

Celebrity attorney Alex Spiro, who has represented Jay-Z and Robert Kraft, and Attorneys Josh Coe and Anthony Gantous of Anchor Legal Group, are representing Lynch family, The Virginian Pilot reported.

The shooting took place at the Oceanfront two months ago during a chaotic night of shootings – in the area, police were investigating three shootings that took place.

Donavan and a friend were running into their cars when Simmons “immediately, unlawfully and without warning” fired his gun twice, the lawsuit stated.

Police said Donavan was “brandishing” a handgun, something the Lynch family and a witness are denying.

Attorneys said the officer knew who was Donovon because he was a 6’5” 305-pound and a former offensive lineman for the University of Virginia College at Wise in addition to being Pharrell’s cousin.

It is also being reported the officer lack of training using death force, blaming the city for not training him well.

In separate lawsuit, the Lynch is also suing Simmons for $350,000.

The shooting of Donovan was not captured on police body cam for some reason, though said the incident is being investigated with Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott requested an independent probe by the Department of Justice.
“They spent $5.5 million on bodycams and dashcams and they’re not then utilized,” Wayne told WAVY-TV after Donovon’s death. “They know my family; they know we not like this. It ain’t anything to do with none of that and for them to betray him like that is wrong.”

 Pharrell spoke up the incident in an interview with Town & Country Magazine, saying, “We had to bury my cousin on my birthday,” he said.

“It was bittersweet. The way he died was bitter. Where he is right now is sweet. I wasn’t able to deliver the speech with the fire and intention I wanted because I was just choked with emotion. It’s not just the loss of life. It’s also the cause of the loss of life. And it’s a much larger problem, you know?,” the Grammy-winning artist said. “Knowing that if Donovon had been white he wouldn’t have gotten shot multiple times and left in the street for an inhumane amount of time, ’til the next morning, no gun in hand—that’s gravity. The race of the officer doesn’t pertain to the conversation because if Donovan had been white they would have never shot him like that. So, there is gravity. And there, too, is hope that things will change.”