NAACP responds to VB Police investigation regarding Oceanfront shootings

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY)— A #JusticeforDonovonLynch memorial now sits on the corner of Pacific Avenue and 20th Street.

Lynch, a 25-year-old UVA-Wise graduate and student-athlete, was killed by a Virginia Beach police officer at the intersection on Friday.

Before the fatal shooting, police describe the area as “chaotic.” Three separate shootings left two people dead, eight others hurt, and six people arrested.

Tuesday, Police Chief Paul Neudigate provided new information about the investigation during a special city council meeting. 

He explained the officers’ gun holsters don’t work properly with the body cameras’ remote starter technology.

Neudigate still could not answer why the officer who shot Lynch did not turn on their camera manually. Neudigate also addressed staffing shortages. Right now, the department is down 100 officers.

Virginia Beach NAACP President Dr. Karen Hills Pruden issued a letter in response to the special session.

“Chief Neudigate’s complaints of understaffing, equipment preferences, and equipment on backorder is nothing new,” said Pruden in the letter. “The police force has been understaffed for years. However, the Virginia Beach Branch NAACP will not allow our focus to be watered down by those organizational objectives.”

Lynch’s dad told he was a legal gun owner, with a license to carry.

His gun was legal because he owned a security firm. His dad also says the gun was in his pocket at the time of the shooting.

Now NAACP asks why the police chief failed to mention that during the council meeting.

The cities civil rights group says it is disappointed that Neudigate did not share this information with the community or council.

The statement says the police department has access to gun permit information.

“His failure to also state that Mr. Lynch was a legally licensed gun owner was an attempt to shift the perception of the public’s view toward Mr. Lynch.”

“The police department has access to gun permit [or] licensure information, so the Virginia Beach Branch NAACP has no reason to believe the intent was other than malicious.”

The officer, who shot Lynch, and another officer claim Lynch showed a gun before he was shot and killed Friday.

Neudigate says a gun was found near the scene, however, there is no camera footage of the shooting from police or witnesses.

His family, friends, and the Virginia Beach NAACP want to know why was Donovan Lynch shot on Friday night at the Oceanfront and why did the police officer who shot Lynch not activate the body camera?

Virginia State Police will take over the investigation into the deadly shooting of Lynch.

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