Pharrell has threatened to pull his music festival Something in the Water from his hometown due to concerns over the “toxic energy” of the police.
As reported by Variety, the star penned an open letter to Virginia Beach City Manager Patrick Duhaney, citing the police killing of his cousin, Donovon Lynch, as troubling him.
“I love my city, but for far too long it has been run by and with toxic energy,” Pharrell said. “The toxic energy that changed the narrative several times around the homicide of my cousin, Donovan Lynch, a citizen of Virginia, is the same toxic energy that changed the narrative around the mass murder and senseless loss of life at Building Number 2.”
Pharrell’s cousin Lynch was killed by a police offer in Virginia Beach back in March. Despite his death being ruled as a homicide by the chief medical examiner in August, no criminal charges have yet been filed.
Pharrell’s letter came after Duhaney expressed his disappointment about hearing that Something in the Water might not be returning to Virginia Beach next year.
The Grammy-winning artist revealed that the city had ignored his “proposed solutions” to the racial inequalities in his hometown.
“When we did the festival, it was to ease racial tension, to unify the region, bring about economic development opportunities and broaden the horizons of the local business community. We achieved those things!
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I wish the same energy I’ve felt from Virginia Beach leadership upon losing the festival would’ve been similarly channeled following the loss of my relative’s life.”
Pharrell continued: “Until the gatekeepers and the powers-that-be consider the citizens and the consumer base, and no longer view the idea of human rights for all as a controversial idea… I don’t have any problems with the city, but I realize that city hasn’t valued my proposed solutions, either.”
As it stands, it’s unclear whether Something in the Water will return in 2022. Read Pharrell’s full letter in the meantime here.
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