Yes, the Virginia Beach Gang Shootings Should Be Investigated

Virginia Beach shooting scene. Credit: WAVY TV.

Delegate Jay Jones, D-Norfolk, and other state legislators have called upon Attorney General Mark Herring to conduct an investigation into the shooting death of Donovon Lynch by a Virginia Beach police officer during a wild exchange of gunfire at the Oceanfront a week ago. Herring had said he supported a Virginia State Police investigation, but Jones, who is running against him for the Democratic Party nomination for attorney general, wants something more high-profile.

Any time a citizen is killed by a policeman, an inquiry of some sort is called for. Given political realities today, an investigation outside the normal intra-departmental review is prudent if the victim is African American. Under the curious circumstances of this particular incident — the policeman had failed to activate his body camera — it is not unreasonable for Jones and his friends to demand an even closer level of scrutiny.

But if there is to be an investigation, let’s not focus solely on the one shooting. Let’s dig into the entirety of what happened at Virginia Beach that night, in which one other person was killed and eight were injured, including a policeman who was struck by a car.

If you’ve read the news accounts, you probably jumped to the same conclusion that I did — that the victim was unarmed and black and the policeman was white. And you’d be wrong. Our intrepid blogging colleague Kerry Dougherty found out details that never made it into the mainstream media. I quote from her blog post:

Sources close to the investigation say the African-American officer who shot the suspect fired after seeing the suspect rack his gun and point it in his direction over a hedge. The officer shouted for the man to drop his weapon. When he didn’t, the officer fired three rounds that struck and killed the suspect.

The gun was not “in the vicinity” of the suspect as originally reported, I’m told, but at the dead man’s feet.

Police also found 59 shell casings in a parking lot at 19th Street where one of the shootings occurred.

Got that? The victim was armed and aiming at the officer. The officer himself was black. In other developments — these were reported by the mainstream media — it turns out that (a) disorder at the Oceanfront is nothing new, and (b) that the Virginia Beach police force, with 500 officers and detectives, is about 100 men and women short.

It is frustrating to watch how politicians and pundits have hijacked the narrative, says Brian Luciano, president of the Virginia Beach Police Benevolent Association, in a letter to City Council members. “The same men and women who were out that night and every night, and who are willing to risk their lives for strangers, now find themselves having to defend their actions. Actions that took place in a quarter of a second and under circumstances that would send others fleeing in terror.”

The actions of the officers this night should be commended, not condemned. Once again officers ran into gunfire. They rendered aid to the wounded. They coordinated rescue efforts. They comforted the panicked. They searched for the perpetrators under hostile conditions and at great risk to their safety. The officers responded to the chaos started by criminals. They did exactly what you ask and expect of them. We have not heard a public acknowledgement of this from many of you. We have yet to hear concern for the officer run over by a
car. …

What occurred that night seems to come as a surprise to everyone but the police officers. I assure you that this increase of violence has not happened over night. A decade of neglect has helped lead us here. The concerns brought forward by the PBA over the last decade have been ignored, marginalized, and explained away as mere gripes from “disgruntled” employees, even by some in our own command structure. The warning signs have been obvious for anyone willing to see them and willing to listen.

And there’s more…. What happened last week was not a replay of the Greekfest riots of many years back. The offenders were not college kids. They were gang-related, says Kerry, who has been giving heavy coverage to the incident on the radio show she co-hosts. Many are armed. Some have worn face masks. They take over an area of the Oceanfront, intimidating tourists and shop owners. Police are constrained not only by manpower shortages but the tactics they can employ to maintain order.

In other words, the shootings do not fit the white-cop-shoots-unarmed-black-man template. It’s a complicated story.

Once that reality sinks in, I predict, Del. Jones will lose interest because he will no longer have a cudgel with which to beat Herring in a nomination contest in which the candidates are racing to out-woke the other. I could almost feel sorry for Herring, who says he has no power under the law to do any more than what he is doing. But Herring has done so much race baiting himself, my sympathy level is zero. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Bacon’s bottom line: Let’s have that investigation. Let’s get all the facts on the table before they dribble out, the mainstream media loses interest because the facts don’t fit the Oppression Narrative, the public never gets the full picture, and there is no chance of fixing anything.

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15 responses to “Yes, the Virginia Beach Gang Shootings Should Be Investigated”

  1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    Appreciate the details Mr. Bacon. All I really knew before this was that the shooting victim was a cousin of some celebrity I never heard of before. To what extent were the injuries of the 8 wounded?

  2. Kathleen Smith Avatar
    Kathleen Smith

    Both investigations are needed. Good call.

  3. WayneS Avatar

    Easy fix for the “my bodycam was off” issue:

    1) Bodycam automatically activates when officer’s voice, or overall ambient sound level near officer, reaches a certain decibel level.


    2) Bodycam automatically activates when officer’s weapon is drawn.

    Neither of those things should be all that difficult to implement.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      SCOTUS will fix the bodycam the same way they did Miranda, just make it moot if they don’t activate.

      Was a time if you wanted to remain silent, you just remained silent, but now you have to actually say, “I’m remaining silent,” which when you think about it….

  4. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    Mark Herring has already stretched that office pretty far out of shape. Mainly a boring insurance defense/transactional/appellate law office 20 years ago, with little law enforcement or investigative authority, deferring to the Governor and Assembly on policy. And as activist and ideological as Mark has made it, it is not enough for Jones. Bring on the Inquisition. Badges and guns will follow.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Baseball been berry berry bad to Kemp.

      Say, how come the national media ain’t talking about Virginia’s voter unsuppression law? Come to think of it, I don’t recall a BR post on it.

    2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      I agree that Herring has done a lot of stretching, but Cuccinelli did his sharing of stretching before Herring.

      1. Stephen Haner Avatar
        Stephen Haner

        That CLEARLY makes it ok….

  5. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Speaking of which, I watched the Chauvin bodycam video presented in court. When Chauvin, gun drawn, first approached Floyd, the latter was clearly flustered and kept moving his hands with Chauvin yelling, “Show me your hands” several times. The irony is that he could have shot him and it would have been just another white cop shoots unarmed black man, but nooooo, Chauvin just had to be callously inventive!

  6. LarrytheG Avatar

    So when a black policeman shoots an armed white guy , it PROVES that not all police killings are white cops killing unarmed black folks?

    Is that right?

    Oh, and the “Dang my body cam was off” excuse is getting old and suspicious.

    1. WayneS Avatar

      “So when a black policeman shoots an armed white guy , it PROVES that not all police killings are white cops killing unarmed black folks?”

      Yes, actually, it does. Look up the definition of the word “all” in the dictionary if you doubt me.

      PS – Reports indicate that both the police officer and the criminal who was shot were black in the incident being discussed in the article.

    2. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Psst, let ’em have it. For them, it’s a pleasant distraction from January 6th. Oh, and Matt Gaetz. Smarmy looking dude.

      1. WayneS Avatar

        If Jim Bakker and JFK had a love child…

  7. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    If you agree with the PBA spokesman’s lament that politicians and pundits are capturing the narrative, why do you support the kind of investigation that Jones is asking for? It seems that you think it will turn up the answers that Jones and others are not looking for, but, by the time such an investigation is up and running, much less finished, everyone will have lost interest. And the politicians will be having a field day in the interim. For once, Herring was pretty low key and willing to defer to the State Police. I am surprised that you did not support him on this one.

  8. StarboardLift Avatar

    Not everything that happens everywhere is racial every time, though people of different races may be involved. Or at least this is what my white privilege believes.

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