The Fight for Justice: Why Missourians Must Oppose a Pardon for Convicted Killer Cop Eric J. DeValkenaere
DeValkenaere's conviction isn't a victory for justice—it's an alarming exception in a system that has brutalized Black Missourians for nearly 150 years. Discover why this case demands more than reform; it calls for complete system overhaul. The post The Fight for Justice: Why Missourians Must Oppose a Pardon for Convicted Killer Cop Eric J. DeValkenaere appeared first on Kansas City Defender.
In a state that claims to uphold principles of equal protection under the law, Missouri has consistently been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
The latest atrocity? Governor Mike Parson’s appalling contemplation of absolving Eric J. DeValkenaere—a convicted killer.
To be clear; he’s the first white cop in Kansas City history to be convicted for murdering a Black man, 26-year-old Cameron Lamb, in the very space Lamb should have felt safest—his own home.
This milestone conviction didn’t manifest from the benevolence of the criminal legal system. It was wrenched from the clenched jaws of institutional resistance by a united community—by the ceaseless fight of the Lamb family, and by grassroots powerhouses like the KC Law Enforcement Accountability Project (KC LEAP).
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker should also be commended for her role in ensuring DeValkenaere faced consequences for his actions. The community’s collective pursuit of justice in this case stands as a beacon of hope for many.
While DeValkenaere’s conviction stands as a rare moment of accountability, let’s not be fooled into thinking this signifies a ‘working system.’
When you can, for over a century, murder hundreds of Black people and face no consequence whatsoever, that is not a bug; it’s a feature of a criminal legal system designed never to hold cops or white supremacy accountable.
The need extends beyond piecemeal reforms; and our fight is bigger than one conviction—it’s a rallying cry to overhaul a system fundamentally engineered to harm Black lives.
Yet, even in this case, when it seemed for the first time ever a white cop would be held accountable, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey took an unusual step.
In his unprecedented move, he requested an appeals court to either reverse DeValkenaere’s conviction or order a new trial. While this bid failed and a three-judge panel unanimously affirmed DeValkenaere’s guilt, Bailey’s actions have sowed distrust among the public.
The possibility of a gubernatorial pardon would not only further erode this trust but would undermine the very principles that must form the bedrock of our society—justice, accountability, and equal protection under the law.
The NAACP Travel Advisory and the Imperative for Unyielding Vigilance
As we navigate this pressing issue, let’s not forget that Missouri’s NAACP Travel Advisory remains painfully relevant. This warning, urging people—particularly those of color—to exercise caution in the state, serves as a grim testament to the systemic issues that continue to afflict Missouri.
It is a rallying cry for our community to collaborate with civil rights organizations, faith-based institutions, and other key stakeholders in the struggle to ensure the safety and dignity of all residents, including those who are Black.
Your Call to Action
Now more than ever, Missourians must stand united in their pursuit of justice and equality. I urge you all to take immediate action. Call Governor Mike Parson at 573-751-3222 and make it clear that any consideration of a pardon for Eric J. DeValkenaere is unacceptable. Say, “Missouri’s culture of death must end, Governor. Please deny a Pardon for DeValkenaere.”
In the face of governmental actions that threaten to erode our collective faith in the justice system, we must not be complacent. We must remain vigilant in our struggle for justice and equality. This is not just a legal battle; it’s a moral imperative. We owe it to ourselves and future generations to ensure that the principles of democracy are not just lofty ideals but tangible realities that guide our lives.
For more information on how to get involved, please contact the Missouri State Conference of the NAACP at 844-NAACP-HElp or via email at email@example.com