The Mayor and Vice Mayor of Lynchburg just finished addressing the incident involving Levon Martin.

Some members of the African American community are upset and holding vigils while a state police investigation is under way to determine exactly what led to Martin's death.

This weekend, more gatherings are planned.

“We ask that you please continue to stay peaceful as we go through this process and bear with us until the very end,” Lynchburg Vice Mayor Ceasar Johnson said. “We don't know what day or week this investigation and coroner's report will come in, but we want you to know we are together to move this process forward in the most judicious fashion and as speedy as we can.”

Mayor Mike Gillette said electronic records verify that tazers were not used in the incident.

City leaders went on to say they are trying to improve the relationship between the police department and the community.

Following the press conference, Lynchburg police chief Parks Snead spoke to reporters for the first time since Tuesday.  He said the officers involved in the Martin incident have been placed on light duty.  His own investigation of the matter indicates the officers followed department procedures and protocols during the encounter.

CLICK HERE to watch an interview with Lynchburg Police Chief Parks Snead.


Lynchburg Mayor Michael Gillette and Vice Mayor Ceasor Johnson will hold a press conference at 5:15 p.m. Friday to issue a public statement about the death of Levon Martin.

Martin died after collapsing while in police custody.


A man who fled from a home in Lynchburg when officers arrived to serve arrest warrants Tuesday night passed away at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday.

The man has been identified as Levon DeShawn Martin, 29, of Lynchburg.

According to a news release, Martin suffered from a medical emergency while in the officers' care.

Martin passed away at the Lynchburg General Hospital.

Martin was sent to the hospital for treatment after an incident with Lynchburg Police Tuesday night.

Officers went to a house at 2224 Tulip Street just before 8:00 p.m. Tuesday to arrest a wanted man.

Martin then fled from the house when police arrived.

Officers chased him, and according to a news release they were able to catch him without using tasers or any other kind of force.

The press release states that while officers were walking him back to the house, he collapsed. An ambulance took him to the hospital.

Before suffering the medical emergency, Martin told officers that he was not the wanted man they were looking for. Lynchburg Police later confirmed that this was true.

Officers were trying to arrest Kenneth Ford for probation violations when they arrived at the home on Tulip Street to serve the arrest warrants.

The Lynchburg Police Department has requested that the Virginia State Police assume responsibility for the investigation.