VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — There is no police body camera video in the death of Donovon Lynch, but that does not mean footage of the shooting does not exist.
A Virginia Beach police officer shot and killed Lynch on March 26 near Pacific Avenue and 20th Street, according to the department.
The officer was wearing a body camera, but did not activate it for "unknown reasons," said Police Chief Paul Neudigate. It is a violation of department policy and is expected to be part of an administrative investigation.
Many questions remain surrounding Lynch's death, and several parties have called for an independent investigation. The Virginia Beach Police department said Monday the Commonwealth Attorney's Office of Virginia Beach will conduct its own investigation, separate from the police.
Former FBI supervisor Steve Foster says investigators will look into the lack of body camera footage.
"Was it not functioning for a number of hours and it was an accident and it just happened that way?" posed Foster. "Or did the police officer intentionally turn it off?"
He said that should be fairly easy to determine with the use of department technology.
Foster said cameras could play a critical role in the investigation. Despite the lack of body cam footage, Foster cites the likelihood of security and traffic cameras in the area, which is at times heavily trafficked. He expects any nearby cameras will be subpoenaed.
A Virginia Beach Police Department release Monday said the unidentified officer had been questioned as part of the investigation. As of Saturday, Neudigate said that had not happened. There have been questions as to that did not happen sooner.
"There's the right of due process. He has the right to counsel," said Foster.
The police department also said another officer witnessed the shooting and corroborated the account of the officer who shot Lynch. Both claim Lynch, 25, “brandished" a gun at the time of the shooting.
Neudigate had previously stated that a gun was found in the vicinity and the department said that another witness said Lynch had a gun earlier in the evening.
Foster said investigators will need to check for fingerprints.
"Why did this police officer shoot this individual? Was it because of a lack of training? Was he overzealous? Did you lose control of his emotions?" Foster asked. "Or did he see something that we don't know about?"