KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City Police detective charged in the shooting death of Cameron Lamb is getting support from an unlikely source: an iconic child actor and his family.
Detective Eric DeValkenaere’s legal team will “Leave it to Beaver” to help fund his defense. Specifically the actor who played Eddie Haskell, Ken Osmond.
Osmond died in May. His widow says when she heard about this case she knew she had to get involved.
“I was so annoyed with the character ‘Eddie’ when I saw him on TV when I was a kid, I thought he was an absolute jerk,” Sandy Osmond said.
But Sandy Osmond would go on to marry the actor who played America’s favorite insincere flatterer in the classic sitcom, “Leave it To Beaver.”
Ken Osmond may have been best known for numerous lines that began with “Gee Mrs. Cleaver,” but there’s one thing he called his wife to say she’ll never forget.
“The words that he said was, ‘I’m okay, but I’ve been shot,’” Osmond recalled.
After finding trouble gaining major roles due to what he called type-casting, Osmond went on to be a Los Angeles Police Officer. He was shot in 1980 as he and a partner tried to apprehend a suspected car thief. He credited his bullet proof vest and his belt buckle for protecting him from the bullets, and his partner.
Sandy Osmond wonders if that scenario might have played out differently today in a time of increased police scrutiny.
“You see a clear and present danger, your partner is about to die, and you wonder would Henry have hesitated?” Osmond said.
Christopher Lynch co-authored “Eddie: The Life and Times of America’s Preeminent Bad Boy” with Osmond before the former actor’s death this year. Then he read about the charges against Kansas City Police Detective Eric DeValkanaere, who shot Cameron Lamb when he says he pointed a gun at his partner. Though that partner still isn’t sure he had one according to the indictment.
“They’ve been indicted, at least we have an opportunity now to go to trial,” Lamb’s step-father Aqil Bey said after the charges in June.
“It just struck a chord with me, and I thought, ‘Wow, that sounds so much like Ken’s shooting and what would have happened if Ken would have been in that boat today,’” Lynch said.
So the author and Osmond’s widow agreed they’ll donate all royalties from the book to the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, an organization paying legal fees for about 10 officers around the country whose charges they’ve deemed the most outrageous. In fact, the organization’s President believes DeValkanaere should have received an award not an indictment.
“It’s great to know that we reach such a broad group of people across the country that they want to see police officers do the right thing but they want to know police officers do have their support,” Jason Johnson, President of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund said.
The group It’s Time 4 Justice who petitioned for charges in this case, see things differently. They’ve called the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund’s involvement in this case destructive and say they are looking forward to the facts of the case playing out in court.