Wayne Lynch, Donovon’s father and the lawsuit’s plaintiff, said the family believes the police account of the shooting is false, and they want their son’s name cleared.
They also want a federal probe of the shooting.
The family says Donovon Lynch, who sometimes worked in security, had a gun that he was legally carrying that night.
“We’ve made several attempts to have something done, to have the word ‘brandishing’ redacted from their statement [about what happened],” Wayne Lynch said. “They’ve refused to do that. They haven’t done anything.”
The lawsuit filed in Norfolk also alleges the officer who opened fire is Solomon D. Simmons. The suit names Simmons and the city of Virginia Beach as defendants. The officer did not respond to requests for comment.
The Virginia Beach police and the Virginia State Police, who took over the probe of Lynch’s killing after a public outcry, have yet to identify the officer involved and have released limited details about the shooting.
Virginia Beach police referred questions about the lawsuit to the city. A city spokeswoman declined to comment because officials had not yet been served with the suit.
Lynch was fatally shot March 26 during a chaotic night of gunfire on Virginia Beach’s oceanfront.
Two people died, and eight others were injured in three separate shootings on the strip, a popular nightlife destination. More than 100 officers were deployed to the streets that night in response.
The lawsuit claims Lynch and a friend went to the oceanfront for a night on the town and had nothing to do with the violence. The pair decided to leave the oceanfront after the first shooting and were walking to their car when Simmons came upon them, according to the lawsuit.
Simmons never identified himself and opened fire without warning, hitting Lynch twice, the lawsuit contends. Lynch died a short time later.
“Mr. Lynch was not speaking or acting in a manner that would suggest he posed any threat let alone a deadly threat to Officer Simmons or anyone else,” the lawsuit reads. “He was neither resisting or evading arrest.”
Virginia Beach officials have said the officer who shot Lynch and a plainclothes detective told investigators Lynch had a gun out at the time of the shooting.
The police have said they would not discuss what led up to the shooting, but they have released a photo of the weapon they said was recovered from the scene.
The body camera of the officer who shot Lynch was not activated at the time, police have said, and the reason for that remains under investigation.
The plainclothes officer did not have a body camera, police have said.
In the days after the shooting, Virginia Beach police said they had not found any surveillance cameras that captured the events.