KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The process to get here has been long and trying for Cameron Lamb’s family.
It’s been four years since he was shot and killed. Then two years ago, former KCPD detective Eric DeValkenaere was convicted of second-degree involuntary manslaughter in his death.
DeValkenaere appealed his conviction. But on Tuesday, the Missouri Court of Appeals upheld the conviction, saying there is sufficient evidence that DeValkenaere killed Lamb and acted with criminal negligence.
Lamb’s family said the court’s decision was a relief.
“The prosecutor’s office then showed that they are not afraid to go for anybody, not only citizens that broke the law but law enforcement agencies that have broke the law,” said Aquil Bey, Lamb’s father.
The Beys said a weight has been lifted off their shoulders.
“I could not believe it. However, I felt like we finally got the answer we were going to get,” said Lauri Bey, Lamb’s mother.
“Perhaps I’m the one that’s least surprised. In courtrooms, the truth tends to prevail,” Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said.
DeValkenaere had been out on bond pending his appeal. But after the appeals court’s decision Tuesday, he turned himself in Tuesday morning and was booked into the Platte County jail.
“The rule the of law applies to everybody. It applies to you and everybody on the other side of this camera, and it applies to me and, of course, it applies to police officers,” Baker said.
DeValkenaere’s charges stemmed from an incident in 2019 that led officers to Lamb’s home. A judge ruled in 2021 that the detective violated Lamb’s Fourth Amendment rights because he went on his property without a warrant or probable cause.
The case drew national attention, and it’s not clear if it’s over yet.
The question now moves to whether DeValkenaere’s attorneys will appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court — or if Gov. Mike Parson will use his power to pardon Devalknere.
The Beys response to that question is simple.
“You understand who the pardons are for,” Aquil Bey said Tuesday. “Pardons are for guilty people, you know. It’s not for innocent people. So if he do, if he do, that’s not in my hands. It’s in the justice system’s hands.”
Not only are the Beys grateful to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, they also have a deep appreciation for the community who stood with them, rallied with them and supported them over the last four years.