Delegate Jones calls on attorney general to investigate fatal officer-involved shooting at Oceanfront

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA (WAVY) — Virginia Delegate Jay Jones is calling on the Virginia Office of the Attorney General to investigate the fatal officer-involved shooting of Donovon Lynch that happened in Virginia Beach on Friday.

Lynch, a 25-year-old Black man, was shot by a Virginia Beach police officer on March 26. There were three separate shooting incidents that night that left two people dead and eight injured at the resort city.

During a press briefing Saturday, Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate revealed that the officer involved “was wearing a body camera, but for unknown reasons at this point in time, it was not activated.”

Police also said that the unnamed officer had yet to be interviewed about the incident and that they “do not have the answers that the community is looking for in regards to this death right now.”

Jones is running for attorney general himself in 2021, and trying to primary incumbent Mark Herring.

Following his call for an investigation, Jones released the following statement:

“The Virginia Beach community deserves answers to the horrendous shootings that occurred this weekend. Body cameras are designed for transparency into police conduct – specifically situations like what happened over the weekend – to provide a clear record of interactions with the public it serves in the field.

“It is unconscionable that the body camera worn by a police officer involved in a fatal shooting was not activated, and I am calling on the Attorney General to use his full investigative authority to determine what went wrong here. We need far better accountability and transparency, and the families of those killed by police, in Virginia Beach and across this country, deserve answers.

“Despite the shooting taking place on Friday, the officer has yet to be interviewed by the Virginia Beach Police Department. This is further evidence for why we must reform our law enforcement practices, including ending qualified and sovereign immunity, but also demand more transparency and hold law enforcement to appropriate standards.

“No one is above the law, including those tasked with enforcing it. Although the Civil Rights Division I proposed this past session would have had investigative and enforcement authority over a situation just like this, it was killed for politically motivated reasons by supporters of Mark Herring in the legislature.

“Nevertheless, I trust that the Attorney General will investigate this matter and use the office to make police reform a much larger priority than it has been for him during his time in office. I pray that he won’t play politics with justice and the lives of our citizens. Now is the time to put the full weight of the office behind your new rhetoric.”

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