Virginia Beach NAACP

PO BOX 61114

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462


 March 28, 2021


The Virginia Beach Branch NAACP is distressed regarding the recent shootings on March 26, 2021. We are faced with unanswered questions and the lost lives of Mr. Donovan W. Lynch and Ms. Deshayla E. Harris. After watching the press conference by Chief Paul Neudigate, we are not surprised of the revelation that the body camera of the officer involved in the death of Mr. Lynch was not activated. Disciplinary actions surrounding an officer misconduct should not be withheld from the public under the pretext. “It’s a personnel issue.” This has been the case in the past. Transparency of police disciplinary is required now. The City embarked on the Body-Worn Camera Project of 450 body worn cameras and 250 in-car dash cameras to be distributed to officers as a tool to gather evidence, provide information about police interactions, increase accountability, and strengthen the relationships with the community. In this incident, the department has failed on all accounts. 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. The Virginia Beach Branch NAACP continues to call for a Citizen Review Board with full investigative and subpoena powers. We are seeking: (1) the Use of Force Continuum with at least 6 steps with clear levels of escalation, (2) the ability to review officer misconduct information and disciplinary histories (via Open Records Act), (3) the ability to review the police department’s records of disciplining or charging officers with misconduct, and (4) and finally, a statewide review board for police officers who use deadly force-tied to officer recertification credentials. We are watching and listening for the department’s inquiry into this shooting and expect a thorough and expeditious report. The community is waiting! We will not stand by silently while an African American citizen has been shot down in this ‘Resort City’!


Dr. Karen Hills Pruden, President