Verdict to be announced in trial of Kansas City officer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A verdict will be announced Friday in the trial of a white Kansas City police officer charged with involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a Black man.

Jackson County Judge Dale Youngs will make the announcement in the case against Officer Eric J. DeValkenaere at a 1 p.m. hearing.

DeValkenaere also is charged with armed criminal action in the death of Cameron Lamb. The shooting happened as the 26-year-old was backing into his garage on Dec. 3, 2019, after police said he chased his girlfriend’s convertible in a stolen pickup truck.

DeValkenaere said he fired after Lamb pointed a gun at another detective. But prosecutors argued that police staged the scene to support their claims that Lamb was armed.

The case is a rare example of a white officer from the city being criminally accused of killing a Black man. In 1942, two officers were acquitted in a killing, The Kanas City Star reported.

A bench trial was held before the judge without a jury at DeValkenaere’s request.

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This story was first published on Nov. 18. It was updated on Nov. 19 to correct that DeValkenaere was not the first white Kansas City police officer in the city to be charged in the death of a Black person. Such a case happened in 1942.

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