On Friday night, a Virginia Beach police officer shot and killed Donovan Lynch, an unarmed Black man. It’s difficult to know exactly what happened because the officer’s body-worn camera was turned off for unknown reasons, according to police Chief Paul Neduigate. Since the beginning of 2021, police have killed 132 people across the United States.
“As people in our community start slowly getting back to normal after the pandemic, one thing we don’t need more of is police violence. It’s devastating that once again our friends and neighbors are mourning the loss of a man’s life due to a police officer shooting an unarmed victim,” Ashleigh Crocker, communications director at Progress Virginia, said. “Members of the General Assembly had the opportunity to pass a bill that would end qualified immunity and allow victims of police violence to hold police officers accountable for their actions, but the bill died in committee for political reasons. Despite the pandemic, white supremacy is alive, well, and running rampant in police departments across Virginia and the United States. We must come together to adopt policies that combat white supremacy, finally pass a bill to ban qualified immunity, and strengthen civilian review boards so that when police violate their mission to ‘protect and serve’ the community, they can be held accountable.”
- 8 people were injured and two people were killed in three separate shooting events on Friday night in Virginia Beach.
- A police officer killed Donovan Lynch, a 25 year old, unarmed Black man.
- The officer’s body camera was off, and there is no footage of the shooting available at this time.
- The Virginia Beach Police Department’s policy for body worn cameras is currently unavailable on their website, so it is not clear if this was a violation of the policy.
- A bill to end qualified immunity failed to pass the House of Delegates in the legislative session earlier this year.
- Delegate Jay Jones, a candidate in the Democratic primary for Attorney General, has called for Attorney General Mark Herring to investigate the incident.