Historic Coalition of Missouri Organizations Unite in Letter Urging Governor Not to Pardon Killer Cop
An unparalleled coalition of Missouri organizations ignites a seismic moment in the fight for justice, issuing a damning indictment against Missouri's state-sanctioned racist violence and urging Governor Mike Parson to honor judicial affirmations of guilt in the tragic killing of Cameron Lamb. The post Historic Coalition of Missouri Organizations Unite in Letter Urging Governor Not to Pardon Killer Cop appeared first on Kansas City Defender.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – October 24, 2023 – In a seismic moment that pierces Missouri’s social fabric, an unprecedented coalition of many of the state’s most influential civil and human rights organizations has converged to issue a collective clarion call.
Rooted in the unwavering pursuit of justice for Cameron Lamb, a 26-year-old Black life brutally murdered on his own property by the state-sanctioned violence of former KCPD Detective Eric DeValkenaere, this historic alliance serves as a damning indictment of Missouri’s legacy of racist violence.
The letter, its ink barely dry yet resonating with decades of collective anguish, bears the marks of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, NAACP MO, MORE2, KC Law Enforcement Accountability Project, Decarcerate KC, Action St. Louis, Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, Urban Summit, Metropolitan Congregations United, and SCLC of Greater Kansas City.
It is less a petition than an unyielding call: Governor Mike Parson must honor the judicial affirmations of DeValkenaere’s guilt.
Gwen Grant, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, unmasks the systemic deceit: “Just as any other individual, DeValkenaere is not exempt from the principles of justice and fairness. It’s essential to recognize that wearing a badge should not warrant any special privileges or treatment.”
She goes on to declare that “the audacity to even consider keeping a convicted individual free is unconscionable. I commend the Appellate Court for upholding the verdict and ensuring the integrity of our legal system.”
This case, laden with DeValkenaere’s grotesque criminal negligence and unchecked power, ruptures the malignant illusion of Missouri’s criminal legal system as rooted in “justice.” It is not just a story of one man or one tragic loss; it’s an indictment of a system constructed to criminalize Blackness and safeguard white supremacy.
Elyse Max, a spokeswoman for Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, lays down an irrefutable critique: “Governor Parson’s executive clemency authority operates without transparency or accountability,” she notes, adding that “despite his record-breaking number of pardons, he remains shamefully silent on injustice and wrongful incarceration suffered by hundreds of Missourians, including those facing execution by the state.”
Pardoning former KCPD Detective Eric DeValkenaere for the death of Cameron Lamb, Max says, “after his sentence has been upheld through the court process is an affront to justice and highlights the state leadership’s complete disregard for the principles of fairness and compassion that should guide the clemency process.”
As this unprecedented coalition unites to demand justice for Cameron Lamb, we bear witness to a watershed moment in the struggle for liberation — a moment that dares to envision a Missouri where the machinery of oppression is dismantled, piece by irrefutable piece.
The Letter in Its Entirety Can Be Found Below;
Dear Governor Parson,
We, the undersigned organizations of Missouri as part of the Coalition for Justice for Cameron Lamb, come together to urgently request that you refrain from pardoning former KCPD Detective Eric DeValkenaere for the death of Cameron Lamb. Granting such a pardon would critically damage the already diminishing trust between our community and the justice system, endangering the well-being and safety of Kansas City’s residents and the larger Missouri community.
The oath and responsibility of the Governor is to uphold the rule of law and protect the human and civil rights of citizens, rather than usurping the rule of law by pardoning those duely and justly convicted of violent crimes against Black people, no matter the presence of a uniform or badge.
In our continued endeavors to reduce violent crime and foster unity in Kansas City and throughout Missouri, it is paramount that officers are held accountable for their actions. Such accountability is a crucial step toward regaining the trust and faith of our communities.
We ask you to consider the broader implications of this potential pardon and the message it sends across Missouri. Our united plea represents not just our organizations but the larger voice of our community that seeks justice and accountability.