KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – The family of a Kansas City man shot and killed by police one week ago is demanding answers. Police were called to the area of 35th and college for a disturbance between two vehicles. The police helicopter had eyes on two vehicles involved and led police on foot to a home on 41st Street. That’s where 26-year-old Cameron Lamb was shot and killed. His family has hired a high-profile civil rights attorney to represent them. Police said he’s been spreading false information on social media.
Lee Merritt is a self-described social justice activist and attorney. He’s defended many high-profile cases of black men and women shot and killed by police.
“2019 is on pace to be one of the bloodiest years on record for police use of force. However, we’re seeing indictments and convictions more often of law enforcement officers and so we want to continue to press,” Merritt said.
Merritt announced on Twitter Sunday that he’s representing the family of Cameron Lamb.
My office has been formally retained to represent the family of #CameronLamb who was killed by KCPD Tuesday December 3, 2019 as he was repairing cars in his own backyard. He was deeply loved and his murder represents an irreplaceable loss for this family. They demand justice. pic.twitter.com/qQM3NwTJUa— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) December 9, 2019
He’s the man shot and killed by Kansas City police last Tuesday. On Twitter and Instagram, Merritt called it murder. KCPD clapped back on Twitter with their own account of what happened.
When investigators arrived, He was found with his left arm outside the driver’s window and underneath his left hand was a gun on the ground.— Kansas City Police (@kcpolice) December 9, 2019
But that’s not stopping a flood of criticism towards the department on social media.
“We’re hoping law enforcement will learn there is accountability if they use deadly for without the proper justification,” Merritt said.
Kansas City police said Lamb pointed a gun at one of two detectives who followed him behind his house to find out why he was involved in the disturbance a few blocks away. The other detective shot him. Both officers were dressed in plain clothes, but with black ballistic vests marked police.
Merritt said there are a lot of holes in that account of what happened.
“The family of Cameron Lamb is asking the community to stand with them and demand transparency and demand the respect of their family. They should not have questions of what happened a week later to their loved one,” Merritt said.
Kansas City police said they are working to release a video account of what happened that will include radio traffic and video from the police helicopter. Their own investigation of the incident is ongoing.
Merritt said Lamb’s family will meet with the district attorney Tuesday morning.
KCTV5 News received a statement from Kansas City police that details what led up to the shooting. It includes a transcript of radio traffic between officers.
“Numerous officers were in the area of 35th and College due to an unrelated traffic crash at about 12:22 p.m. Dec. 3. An officer in the area of the incident saw a red truck chasing a purple Mustang and broadcasted that occurrence on the radio. Officers in the police helicopter located the red truck and started to follow it while broadcasting its location to officers on the ground.
A transcript of the radio traffic of the officers is as follows:
Officer: Eastbound 43 and Cleveland - there’s a red truck chasing a maroon-colored Mustang.
Dispatcher: Copy. Are you going to follow the vehicle?
Officer: I didn’t know if 690 was still flying. It’s almost caused several accidents
Helicopter officer (aka 690): Yeah we’re at 35th and Hardesty right now heading that way. Where are they at?
Officer: They’re going so fast. I’m at 43 and Spruce. It’s like a deep purple Mustang with a white top, and there’s a pick-up truck chasing it.
Helicopter officer: What direction did you last see them at? I’ve got a red truck going WB on 45th.
Officer: They were eastbound 43 and Cleveland. Doing about 90.
Helicopter officer: Yeah this red pick-up’s doing about 60 coming down 45th Street, coming up on Cleveland now. He’s gonna’ run the red light and go NB. He went around a vehicle.
The driver of the truck presented a clear danger to other drivers, particularly the occupants of the purple Mustang he was chasing. The helicopter officers saw the truck back into a residential lot behind a house in the 4100 block of College. They directed officers on the ground to that location. They needed to determine why the driver was chasing the Mustang.
One officer went to the south side of the house, and one to the north. The officer who came from the south made contact with an individual in the back yard who was working on vehicles. The other officer from the north watched Cameron Lamb back the truck down the driveway. He saw Lamb pull a gun and point it in the direction of the other officer. The officer on the north side fired at Lamb. Lamb never exited the truck. The other individual who had been working on cars was not involved in the incident and was not injured.
Lamb was found with his left hand hanging out the truck’s window with a gun on the ground underneath it.”