In a recent interview, musician Pharrell Williams explains how he felt after burying his cousin Donovan Lynch as a result of police brutality. Pharrell explained in the interview that he had to bury his cousin on his birthday, April 5th.
Virginia Beach police shot and killed twenty-five-year-old Donovon Lynch on March 26th. On the 29th, Pharrell posted about the incident with a picture of his late cousin on Instagram.
In the interview, what Pharrell said hurts the most is the different accounts from the Virginia Beach Police Department on what actually occurred. Police have given different stories and violated procedures by not activating their body cameras.
Direct Interview Quotes from Pharrell
Pharrell said, “I wasn’t able to deliver the speech [at his cousin’s funeral] with the fire and intention I wanted because I was just choked with emotion. It’s not just the loss of life. It’s also the cause of the loss of life. And it’s a much larger problem, you know?”
He went on to say: “As a Black person when you’re born in this country, you immediately feel a much heavier gravity. The gravity is one that we see in our rules and regulations and laws. We see it in the lack of options. We see it in what we’re fed, what is marketed to us. We see it in broken educational systems.”
Speaking on gravity, Pharrell continued, saying, “Knowing that if Donovan had been white he wouldn’t have gotten shot multiple times and left in the street for an inhumane amount of time, ’til the next morning, no gun in hand—that’s gravity. The race of the officer doesn’t pertain to the conversation, because if Donovan had been white they would have never shot him like that. So there is gravity. And there, too, is hope that things will change.”
Watch the video of Pharrell’s powerful speech at his cousin’s funeral:
Pharrell and his family are calling for a federal investigation into the incident and into the Virginia Beach police department. They have hope that accountability and justice will come from it.