The mothers of Cameron Lamb’s four children filed a wrongful death lawsuit yesterday in the Western District Court of Missouri against the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners (BOPC) and the officer that shot and killed Lamb.
Lamb was shot and killed Dec. 3 2019 in his truck in his backyard by Det. Eric DeValkenaere, after a disturbance led to officers chasing Lamb’s vehicle.
The shooting occurred while Lamb was in his vehicle in his driveway. According to court documents DeValkenaere said he saw Lamb pull out a gun and point it at another officer, Troy Schwalm. Schwalm said he did not see a gun in Lamb’s hands.
Police say Lamb had his left arm and head hanging out of the driver’s side window and on the ground near his left hand was a handgun.
The lawsuit, that was filed on behalf of Lamb’s four children, seeks $10 million in damages and alleges that police violated Lamb’s civil rights when they entered his property without a warrant. S. Lee Merritt, one of the attorneys representing Lamb’s children, was co-counsel for George Floyd’s family and is also representing the family of Ahmaud Arbery.
The suit also says that the police used excessive force that resulted in Lamb’s death and that the BOPC “failed to properly train, supervise, screen, discipline, transfer, counsel or otherwise properly equip and control officers, including those who are known, or who should have been known, to engage in the use of excessive force and/or deadly force.”
In addition, the lawsuit alleges that KCPD police chief Rick Smith assigned Schwalm and DeValkenaere’s former supervisor to conduct the investigation.
DeValkenaere, who has since been suspended from KCPD, pleaded not guilty after a Jackson County grand jury indicted him for first-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in June for Lamb’s death. A bench trial is set to begin Sept. 7.