Pharrell Williams says man killed by Virginia Beach police was his cousin

The American singer Pharrell Williams has said a man recently killed by police in Virginia Beach was his cousin.

The incident, one of three shootings that occurred over last weekend, has garnered criticism and protests from local residents. Two people, Donovon Lynch, 25, and Deshayla Harris, 29, were killed and eight others were injured during the shootings.

“The loss of these lives is a tragedy beyond measure. My cousin Donovon was killed during the shootings. It is critical my family and the other victims’ families get the transparency they deserve. VA Beach is the epitome of hope and we will get through this,” Williams said in a social media post.

The Virginia Beach police department said Lynch was “brandishing a handgun at the time of the shooting”, according to the Today Show. The two officers who were present at the time did not have their body cameras turned on.

The Virginia Beach NAACP has criticized the police department following the incidents, saying police “failed on all accounts” in a press release.

“We are not surprised of the revelation that the body camera of the officer involved in the death of Mr Lynch was not activated,” the statement read. “The $5.5m implementation investment on body-worn cameras is worthless when officers do not turn the camera on for recording. Mr Lynch is not here to tell his side! The officer involved has no reason to be forthcoming about any facts that places him in an adverse light.”

Harris, who police believe was a bystander when she was killed over the weekend, had appeared on the Oxygen reality TV show Bad Girls Club.

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