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Missouri family and civil rights organizations hold caravan near home where man was killed

<i>KCTV</i><br/>Cameron Lamb's family members held a caravan Friday to remember him two years after Kansas City detective Eric DeValkenaere shot and killed Lamb on December 3
KCTV
KCTV
Cameron Lamb's family members held a caravan Friday to remember him two years after Kansas City detective Eric DeValkenaere shot and killed Lamb on December 3

By EMILY RITTMAN

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    KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KCTV) — Cameron Lamb’s family members held a caravan Friday to remember him two years after Kansas City detective Eric DeValkenaere shot and killed Lamb on December 3, 2019 near 41st Street and College Avenue.

Civil rights leaders joined them and continued calls for the removal of Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith.

A line of cars with Lamb’s friends and family inside drove back to the location of the deadly shooting Friday. “Hearts are saddened,” United Believers Community Church Pastor Darron Edwards. “Eyes are filled with tears. Hearts are heavy.”

The family released nine balloons one at a time to represent the passing of nine seconds. “This is the nine seconds it took that officer to get out of his car and shoot my son,” Cameron Lamb’s stepfather Aquil Bey said.

On Nov. 19th, a judge found Eric DeValkenaere guilty of second-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.

The judge ruled DeValkenaere did not have a warrant, probable cause, or permission to be on private property.

Lamb’s family members say they are preparing for DeValkenaere’s March 4th sentencing hearing.

“It doesn’t compare to what we are going through. Ours is forever,” Aquil Bey said. “We ask you to continue to pray for us.”

Following the balloon release, several members of civil rights organizations spoke to the crowd.

“We’re also here today to express our angst and disgust with Chief Rick Smith and to further, to double down, on our call that he be immediately terminated,” President & CEO Urban League of Greater Kansas City Gwendolyn Grant said. “To have him remain in place until March is further insult to the Lamb family and to the taxpaying citizens of Kansas City, Missouri.”

Several members of civil rights organizations spoke against a statement recorded on dash camera video during the 2019 investigation into Lamb’s death. They say Chief Smith was recorded saying, “Everyone’s good. House is clear. Bad guy’s dead.”

“He needs to be gone and he needs to be gone immediately,” Grant said. Members of civil rights organizations say they plan to attend the Board of Police Commoners meeting on Dec. 14th.

“We continue to call for local control of the Kansas City Police Department,” Executive Director MORE2 Lora McDonald said.

“We are calling and demanding immediate change and standing in solidarity with the police accountability task force,” Third District Councilwoman Melissa Robinson said.

Chief Smith declined to be interviewed Wednesday when asked for comment at a public meeting. The Board of Police Commissioners released a statement that said Smith long planned to retire after approximately five years and he would stay in his position through the current budget process.

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