Cameron Lamb’s family, community gather, marking two years since he was shot by police

·3 min read

Cameron Lamb’s family stood on the street in front of the house where a Kansas City police officer shot and killed him two years ago.

They were decked out in Chiefs gear — Lamb’s favorite team. They held nine balloons. And they had a message:

This is the nine seconds that it took that officer to get out of his car and shoot my son,” said Lamb’s stepfather Aqil Bey.

The balloons floated through the air up to the sky, until they were gone.

After the balloons were released by Lamb’s family, including his three children, Bey said the fight for justice for Lamb still is not over.

The detective who shot him, Eric DeValkenaere, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action last month by a Jackson County judge. He still has to be sentenced. The hearing is scheduled for March 4, 2022.

“We know he has to do at least three years,” Bey said as Lamb’s mother, Laurie Bey stood next to him. “It doesn’t compare to what we’re going through. Ours is forever.”

DeValkenaere shot Cameron Lamb as the 26-year-old backed his pickup truck into the garage of his home at 4154 College Ave.

During the trial, prosecutors said DeValkenaere shot Lamb nine seconds after arriving at the scene.

Lamb’s family had described him as a “momma’s boy,” a helpful father of three children who had discovered he had a gift working on a cars. Lamb thought of pursuing that as a career, his family said shortly after the shooting.

DeValkenaere became the first white Kansas City police officer to be convicted of killing a Black person.

“That was a monumental event and we celebrated that moment,” Gwen Grant, president/CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, said Friday. “But we’re also here today to express our angst and disgust with Chief Rick Smith and to further and double down on our call that he be immediately terminated.”

Earlier this week, The Star reported that Police Chief Rick Smith was captured on audio at the scene of Lamb’s shooting saying: “Everyone is good, house is clear. Bad guy’s dead.”

A source close to the investigation confirmed to The Star it was Smith who made the remark.

Family members of Cameron Lamb were outraged by Smith’s comments.

“I truly felt like he tried to dehumanize my son,” Laurie Bey, said during an interview Tuesday.

Lamb’s family did not call for Smith to be terminated at the gathering Friday.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas also voiced outrage in response to the audio of Smith, tweeting, “it pains me to hear audio during an official police investigation that denigrates a fellow human being.”

On Monday, the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners confirmed that Smith will retire in spring 2022, several months earlier that what he had previously told the board in private. The Star reported last week that Smith was being forced out as leader of the department, following DeValkenaere’s conviction.

Activists in Kansas City applauded the news and said they hope that a new chief will mean positive change for the department and community.

The first three years of Smith’s tenure saw Kansas City police fatally shoot twice as many Black men as the first three years of the previous chief.

On the second anniversary of his death, supporters of Cameron Lamb gathered Friday evening in front of the house where he was shot and killed on Kansas City’s east side. Lamb’s stepfather, Aqil Bey, and mother, Laurie Bey thanked those attending after releasing balloons with other family members. Lamb was shot by Kansas City, Missouri police officer, Eric DeValkenaere, who has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
On the second anniversary of his death, supporters of Cameron Lamb gathered Friday evening in front of the house where he was shot and killed on Kansas City’s east side. Lamb’s stepfather, Aqil Bey, and mother, Laurie Bey thanked those attending after releasing balloons with other family members. Lamb was shot by Kansas City, Missouri police officer, Eric DeValkenaere, who has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
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