Pharrell Williams Calls for Federal Investigation Into Police Shooting of His Cousin
ETOnline 2hrs ago
a close up of Pharrell Williams wearing a hat © Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Pharrell Williams is demanding justice and accountability. The GRAMMY-winning musician is calling for a federal investigation into the police-involved fatal shooting of his cousin, Donovon Lynch.

Lynch, 25, was shot and killed in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on March 26, by a police officer who claimed he was in possession of a handgun. However, the officer's body camera was not activated for unknown reasons at the time of the shooting.

Williams took to Instagram on Monday, which was his 48th birthday, and opened up about speaking at his cousin's funeral, and his call to action.

"Thank you God for my 48th lap around the Sun," Williams wrote. "This one is symbolic and a first because I had to speak at my cousin’s funeral, and was choked up with emotions."

"Too many unanswered City and State questions," he continued. "Respectfully, I am calling for a Federal investigation."

Lynch's death at the hands of police sparked outrage in the community and prompted a demand for transparency and accountability from local activists, the ACLU and others.

Lynch was one of two people who were killed in a string of apparently unrelated shooting incidents in Virginia Beach on March 26. Deshayla Harris, 28, a star of the reality series Bad Girls Clubwas also fatally shot. Eight others were injured in the multiple shootings.

The officer who shot Lynch has been placed on administrative leave amid the investigation. The Virginia Beach Police Department is currently conducting an investigation into the shooting. Once their findings are complete, they will be submitted to the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney, who will conduct a separate investigation independent of the police.

VBPD Internal Affairs Bureau will then conduct a separate internal review of policy and procedure compliance.

ET has reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia for comment on Williams' request for a further federal investigation. 

Police allege that they saw Lynch carrying a gun before he was shot by police. Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate later told reporters that a gun was "in the vicinity" after the shooting, according to local CBS News affiliate WTVR.

As protests were held, Neudigate addressed the fact that the body cam was not activated when he told reporters, "We would like to provide the community answers. At this point we do not have them."

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