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Jackson County Prosecutor says pardoning Eric DeValkenaere would hurt trust in the 'rule of law'

 A woman talks at a microphone inside a studio.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker worries about what will happen if Missouri Gov. Mike Parson decides to pardon Eric Devalkenaere.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker sent a letter to Missouri Gov. Mike Parson urging him to not pardon a former Kansas City Police detective who killed Cameron Lamb in 2019. DeValkenaere was the first KCPD officer to ever be convicted in the fatal shooting of Black man.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker wrote a letter to Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday asking him to not pardon former Kansas City Police detective Eric DeValkenaere.

DeValkenaere was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after the 2019 killing of Cameron Lamb. He was the first Kansas City officer to ever be convicted in the fatal shooting of a Black man.

Pardoning the convicted officer, Baker says, would upend the criminal justice system and could cause a large response from Kansas City residents.

"There is a community level response that we should all be concerned about. And that is, when people feel hopeless, they take on different kinds of actions," said Baker on KCUR's Up To Date. "Protests are one thing, we are a country built on the right to protest, so I don't have a particular problem or concern about protest.

"It is the slow burn after the protests are over," Baker continued. "What happens after that? Violence rates we can expect to go up. Calls for service probably actually go down, because people don't trust that the rule of law is going to matter for them."

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