A former Kanas City, Missouri police detective convicted of killing a Black man can stay out of jail while awaiting his appeal -- even though he has not appealed yet, according to KUCR.
On Tuesday (February 22), Jackson County Circuit Judge Dale Youngs ruled that Eric DeValkenaere can remain free on bond after his scheduled sentencing on March 4, which is when he plans to appeal. The former cop was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter and armed criminal action in the death of 26-year-old Cameron Lamb.
DeValkenaere shot and killed Lamb while the victim was backing up his pickup truck on December 3, 2019. The detective claims he acted in self-defense and saw Lamb reaching for a firearm. Prosecutors argue DeValkenaere acted recklessly by coming onto Lamb's property without a warrant and firing within seconds.
Initial police reports say authorities were tracking a red pickup truck that was reportedly chasing another vehicle through a residential neighborhood, but there's no confirmation that Lamb was the suspect. Moreover, prosecutors allege nobody called 911 nor were there evidence a crime happened at the time, per The Kansas City Star.
Judge Young agreed that the ex-detective and his partner, Troy Schwalm, were the aggressors in the situation and acted without probable cause, but claims DeValkenaere isn't a flight risk nor a danger to the community, according to KMBC.
Friends of Lamb were livid over the judge's decision, claiming DeValkaenere is getting special treatment.
"He should take responsibility before he gets any special treatment," Thomas Simmons, a friend of the family, told KMBC. "He has not taken responsibility for his actions as of today."
Prosecutors opposed DeValkenaere’s appeal bond motion, writing:
"While a trial involving a police shooting is somewhat rare, the defendant’s former employment and the public nature of this case do not require this court to treat the circumstances presented in this motion differently."
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