KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City elected officials, community leaders and organizations are reacting to the verdict in the trial of KCPD detective Eric Devalkenaere.
Friday afternoon a Jackson County judge found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in the shooting death of Cameron Lamb outside of his home in 2019.
You can read the statements below:
“It is still true and seemingly always will be true that cops are almost never prosecuted and convicted for use of force. I am grateful to Judge Youngs for upholding the 4th Amendment and the United States Constitution. There’s not many days in a year when an African American feels like a full citizen in this country. Today was one of those days,” said Pastor Darron LaMonte Edwards of United Believers Community Church.
“Every officer involved shooting is difficult not only for the members in the community, but also the members of the police department. We acknowledge the Court’s decision,” said a KCPD spokesperson.
“Today, Officer DeValkenaere was found guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of Cameron Lamb. This verdict is a sign that justice can happen. Cameron Lamb’s life mattered. We have so much more work to do in overhauling the system of policing and the justice system as a whole. But, today we will pause and be grateful for this conviction,” said Executive Director of MORE2, Lora McDonald.
“It was a tragic situation. My heart goes out to all families impacted. We have a situation where lives of two families are irrevocably changed. I continue extend my condolences to the family of Cameron Lamb, I continue to pray for his family, pray for the family of Detective DeValkenaere and certainly we will continue our work as Kansas City government to make sure we ensure we have a community where everyone feels safe, everyone feels respected and where everyone can believe in justice,” Mayor Quinton Lucas.
“We celebrate the verdict in the killing of Cameron Lamb. This is yet another sad story of the systemic and structural racism and insufficiencies of the criminal and law enforcement systems in America, particularized in Kansas City, which are reinforced by KCPD Chief Rick Smith and the Board of Police Commissioners, both of whom are complicit in such incidents,” said Dr. Vernon Percy Howard, Jr., President, Southern Christian Leadership Conference-GKC.
“These instances of justice in our system are far too rare, but there was something that happened here that was different and we cannot stop here. Today will not bring him back, justice will be short, but this is momentous, this is historic. This is going to mean something for Ahmaud Arbery, this is going to mean something for a Tatiana Jefferson. This is going to mean something for Botham Jean,” said Civil Rights attorney who represents the family of Cameron Lamb, Lee Merritt.