NORFOLK, Va. - The Donovon Wayne Lynch Foundation for Social and Economic Justice hosted a symposium to discuss ways how the current police system can be improved.
This event comes after the death of Donovon Lynch, the man killed by Virginia Beach Police at the Oceanfront on March 26.
On Thursday, June 17, the foundation, in collaboration with Norfolk State University Center for African American Public Policy, hosted a “Re-Imagine America” symposium to discuss “re-imagine ideas” for community policing, community economic development and several other topics.
The event took place from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at NSU.
Eight speakers participated in two different panels, including Donovon's father, Wayne Lynch; his uncle Tim Lynch and Attorney Jeff Reichert, J.D. They answered questions and talked about ways in which the current policing system can be improved.
The topic of citizen review boards was heavily discussed, and advocates say they need to be mandated for police departments and sheriff's offices.
"What the Donovon Lynch Bill will do is mandate civilian review boards, make sure it’s full of civilians, that it applies to sheriff's offices as well, because we really need true accountability in order to address the killing of Black and brown people on our streets due to racial injustice," said former Virginia Del. Jennifer Foy.
The family hopes they can work with legislators to pass laws to re-image how policing works in America.
Organizers said this event would also allow the panel an opportunity to call for justice for Donovon and to call for transparency into the investigation.
The attorneys for the Lynch family held a press conference in April, claiming that Donovon's body was moved and left for an inhumane amount of time. The attorneys also claimed during the press conference another Virginia Beach Police officer shot someone else in the Oceanfront shootings.
"Donovan had nothing to do with anything there at the Oceanfront that night. He was there with his friends at the beach like a lot of other people, and when all the chaos started, he tried to get away from it as well - to go to his vehicle - and he was shot and killed," said Wayne Lynch.
The event was free and open to the public, but registration was required.
The symposium kicked off the “Re-Imagine America” HBCU Tour. This tour will award scholarships and funding to students and the community at large for ideas they believe will help improve our communities, cities and nation. HBCU students who attend will be able to enter the “Re-Imagine Contest,” in which they can present ideas and concepts to help solve issues of community policing. Winners will receive up to $2,500.