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Sean Perryman Calls for Reform, Joins Demands for Investigation into Virginia Beach Shootings

Mar 29, 2021

RELEASE: March 29th, 2021
Contact: [email protected]

FAIRFAX, VA – Lt. Governor candidate Sean Perryman called for a thorough investigation into the shootings that took place in Virginia Beach on Friday, March 26th and joined calls for implementation of strong reforms including a fully empowered civilian review panel. Ten people were shot and two died at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, including Donovan Lynch, who was shot and killed by a Virginia Beach police officer. It was later revealed that this officer did not turn on his body camera prior to the shooting.

“Tragic acts of violence unfolded on Friday night that took the lives of two Virginians and injured many more,” said Perryman. “It’s a sad incident that sits at the intersection of two all-too-common issues: gun violence and police violence. Police officers have the right to defend themselves if their lives are in danger. But assessing the necessity of the use of such deadly force is extremely hard without the body camera footage of the incident. The inability by this officer to use their body camera—which is department procedure—and the lack of answers from the Virginia Beach Police Department are why I’m joining calls for an investigation of this police shooting. Through a fair and transparent investigation we can either rule out wrongdoing, or pursue accountability if this killing is revealed to be unnecessary.”

“I’ve centered ideas around police violence, criminal justice reform, and gun violence prevention for years as a racial justice organizer and they’ve been at the heart of my campaign for Lt. Governor. After the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor sparked the largest demonstrations against racist police violence in history, solutions have been elevated that deserve immediate attention from Virginia’s policymakers. We need Civilian Oversight Boards with full investigative and subpoena power in every community in Virginia. We need to end qualified immunity in Virginia so law enforcement can be held accountable by the communities they harm. And we need to invest in violence interruption, mental health, education, and housing rather than carceral systems that reproduce cycles of violence and harm.

“The loss of life that took place on Friday night has shaken the Virginia Beach community, the Hampton Roads region, and the entire Commonwealth. My campaign offers sincere condolences to the families of Donovan Lynch, Deshayla Harris, and all of those who were injured during the incident. Our task now is to find the truth about these events and deliver accountability and justice where necessary.”

Sean Perryman is President Emeritus of the Fairfax County Chapter of the NAACP, a technology public policy advocate, attorney, and former congressional investigator. If elected he would become one of the youngest Lt. Governors in Virginia history.

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