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Kansas City Police Detective Pleads Not Guilty In Shooting Death Of Cameron Lamb Last Year

Kyle Palmer
KCUR 89.3
In December, more than 100 people gathered on the front lawn of Cameron Lamb's home to call for justice in his killing by a Kansas City Police detective.

Eric J. DeValkenaere, who has been suspended from the Kansas City police force, remains free on a $30,000 bond.

A Kansas City police detective charged in the shooting death last year of Cameron Lamb pleaded not guilty Tuesday to involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.

Eric J. DeValkenaere, who has been suspended from the Kansas City police force, entered his pleas during a brief proceeding before Jackson County Circuit Judge S. Margene Burnett via video conference.

He remains free on a $30,000 bond.

A Jackson County grand jury indicted DeValkenaere on June 18 in the killing of Lamb, 26, a Black man who was shot to death as he was backing into his garage on Dec. 3.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced the indictment at a press conference. She said the police department had not cooperated with her investigation and refused to turn over a probable cause statement after she made a formal request for one.

In their account of the shooting, police said officers were near Lamb’s home at 35th and College when they saw a red truck chasing a purple Mustang. A police helicopter tracked the truck south along College Avenue for a few blocks to the backyard of what turned out to be Lamb’s home.

Police said Lamb was still in his truck when he allegedly pulled a gun and pointed it at one of two approaching plainclothes officers. DeValkenaere fired, striking and killing Lamb.

DeValkenaere is represented by criminal defense lawyer Molly Hastings, a former public defender. Hasting told KCUR that she looked forward “to an opportunity to have a full and fair trial in this case.”

The case will almost certainly not go to trial this year; all jury trials in Jackson County have been canceled until October because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

DeValkenaere’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 30.

As a reporter covering breaking news and legal affairs, I want to demystify often-complex legal issues in order to expose the visible and invisible ways they affect people’s lives. I cover issues of justice and equity, and seek to ensure that significant and often under-covered developments get the attention they deserve so that KCUR listeners and readers are equipped with the knowledge they need to act as better informed citizens. Email me at dan@kcur.org.
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