Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring is calling for an independent investigation into the death of Donovon Lynch, the man killed by Virginia Beach police officers Friday night as they responded to several shooting incidents at the oceanfront.

“An independent investigation is crucial for the public to have the most confidence in the objectivity and independence of the process and will help both the community and the Lynch family get the answers they need and deserve,” Herring said Tuesday in a press release. “I called for an independent investigation into the death of Donovon Lynch and I believe this is a step in the right direction.”

The statement from Herring comes after questions remain unanswered as to what happened the night Lynch was killed. According to police officials, the latest evidence shows that Lynch was not armed when he was shot by a Virginia Beach police officer. Footage from the officer’s body is not available, however, because it was not activated at the time of the shooting. “The officer was wearing a bodycam, but for unknown reasons at this point in time, it was not activated,” Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate said Saturday night during a press conference.

Herring was facing political pressure over the weekend from his Democratic primary opponent, Del. Jay Jones, who called for Herring to investigate the shooting. “The Virginia Beach community deserves answers to the horrendous shootings that occurred this weekend,” Del. Jones said Sunday night in a statement.

The Virginia NAACP also expressed distress with the situation Sunday and called for a transparent process moving forward. “Disciplinary actions surrounding an officer misconduct should not be withheld from the public under the pretext, ‘It’s a personnel issue.’ This has been the case in the past. Transparency of police discipline is required now.” 

The Virginia Beach Police Department has not identified the officer that shot Lynch.


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