Kansas City Police Officer Convicted in 2019 Fatal Shooting of Black Man

A guilty verdict was announced Friday in the trial of a Kansas City police detective charged with fatally shooting Cameron Lamb in December 2019.

A white Kansas City police officer was convicted Friday in the 2019 fatal shooting of a Black man.

NBC News reports Eric J. DeValkenaere, 43, was facing charges of first-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in the Dec. 3, 2019, shooting of 26-year-old Cameron Lamb. 

Jackson County Circuit Court Presiding Judge Dale Youngs announced the verdict Friday following a bench trial, convicting DeValkenaere of second-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.

Speaking on behalf of Lamb’s family, Texas civil rights attorney Lee Merritt said, “Today will not bring him back. Justice is going to be short, but this is momentous. This is historic. And it means something.”

According to the Kansas City Star, Lamb was shot while backing into his garage after chasing his girlfriend’s convertible in a stolen pickup truck. At the time that DeValkenaere shot Lamb, he was not armed. 

DeValkenaere has been suspended from the police department without pay. He remains free on bond until his sentencing.

The Kansas City Police Department released an official statement Friday afternoon: “Every officer involved shooting is difficult not only for the members in the community, but also the members of the police department. We acknowledge the court’s decision.”

Meanwhile, Lamb’s mother, Laurie Bey told reporters the outcome was overwhelming.

“I miss my baby and this just did not have to be,” she said. “It did not have to be. My son was at his home and he was minding his own business when they took it upon themselves to go into the backyard. He was very needed not only to his family, but to the community.”

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