KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A prominent civil rights attorney is now representing the family of a 26-year-old man shot and killed by a Kansas City Police detective last week.
Lee Merritt is calling for transparency in the shooting death of Cameron Lamb, a father of three.
“It very well may play out that this was a situation that was unavoidable but we, particularly this family, shouldn’t be guessing that a week later,” Merritt said.
On Monday afternoon, KCPD released new details about the shooting, which occurred on Dec. 3.
“There’s something that we call in practice, procedural justice,” Merritt said. “So when law enforcement feels that it’s necessary to use deadly force, they then have an obligation to the community and particularly to families, to provide a thorough explanation.”
According to KCPD, several officers were in the area of 35th and College working an unrelated crash. An officer saw a red truck chasing a purple Mustang.
A police helicopter followed the truck to a home near 41st and College, later identified as Lamb’s residence. It was in the backyard of the home where police said the detective saw Lamb, who was inside the truck, pull out a gun and point it at another officer.
“As a civil rights attorney, I think the home is particularly sacred, sacred under the Constitution and that deadly forced should be rarely used in these situations,” Merritt said.
KCPD said in the Monday release that the officers were on Lamb’s property to try and understand why he was chasing the Mustang. They said officers found Lamb with his left hand hanging out the window of the truck and a gun on the ground underneath it.
“His car was back here,” Merritt said, pointing to Lamb’s backyard. “It’s actually also the place where he worked. It was a garage for him. So it was both his home and place of business.”
Merritt and his team are conducting their own investigation, talking with witnesses, conducting an independent autopsy and gathering evidence. Merritt said they would likely use the information in a civil suit.
“I’ve learned through years of practice, that if there was a narrative that worked for law enforcement that would help people understand why this happened, they would have released it immediately,” he said.
Police said another person was in the backyard working on cars when the shooting occurred. That person wasn’t injured.
Merritt and Lamb’s family are expected to meet with the district attorney on Tuesday. They’re hoping there is video, whether it be from a body camera or the helicopter, to support what police say happened.