Economic justice

Donovon Lynch family launches foundation for social and economic justice

The Donovon Wayne Lynch Foundation for Social and Economic Justice offers scholarships to students who hope to improve communities.

NORFOLK, Virginia – Donovon Lynch’s family are pushing for police reform in Virginia Beach and beyond.

On Thursday, the Donovon Wayne Lynch Foundation for Social and Economic Justice hosted its inaugural events at Norfolk State University.

It comes three months after a Virginia Beach police officer shot dead Lynch, 25, on a chaotic night at the Oceanfront. Two people died and several were injured in separate shootings.

“We want to reinvent America, starting today,” said Wayne Lynch, Donovon’s father.

The group organized what they call the Re-Imagine America Tour to discuss the social and economic issues plaguing communities and to brainstorm solutions.

The roundtables featured former delegate and gubernatorial candidate Jennifer Carrol Foy; The Reverend William Barber of the Poor Campaign and former St. Petersburg Police Chief Kenny Miller, among others.

NSU is the first stop on the planned tour of historically black colleges and universities, according to Lynch.

“We’re on the action. So we’ve laid the groundwork, so now it’s time for us to get out there and get the job done,” he said.

“What we have been doing for the past 35 years has culminated in this moment,” he said, referring to his decades-long known work in the community. “It was speeded up because of my son’s death.”

The foundation will provide scholarships and support to students and citizens with ideas to improve their communities. Lynch said he discussed the idea with his son.

Among the main topics of discussion was the push for mandatory civilian review boards in all communities. Wayne Lynch said he has made it his goal to champion the cause since his son’s death.

“We want it to be mandatory and for every jurisdiction to have a civilian review board,” Carroll Foy said.

The Lynch family and their lawyers have questioned the investigation into his death, and lawyer Jeff Reichert hinted that legal action was pending on Thursday.

Lynch’s family claim he was an innocent bystander.

Virginia Beach Police said Lynch brandished a gun that night, although the family disputes that claim and requested a retraction.

13NewsNow previously reported that the Lynch family were planning to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Virginia Beach, according to another attorney involved in the case.

Wayne Lynch was waiting to legally become the representative of his son’s estate, said lawyer Stephen Lentz, who has been retained by the Lynch family.

Under Virginia law, only the personal representative of an estate can file an application for wrongful death on behalf of the deceased.

On Thursday, Lynch confirmed the process was complete.


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