Man alleges KCPD officers protesting Eric Devalkaneare conviction through new policy

eric devalkenaere
Posted at 6:39 PM, Aug 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-16 05:49:31-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A man has filed a lawsuit against the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City and two members of the department, alleging KCPD is protesting the conviction of a former detective through a new policy.

Daniel Fox filed the lawsuit in the United States District Circuit Court for the District of Missouri Western.

In the lawsuit, Fox said that KCPD adopted a new policy to not investigate crimes to personal property unless they obtain a warrant.

Fox alleges that the policy was adopted to protest the conviction of former KCPD detective Eric DeValkenaere, who shot and killed Cameron Lamb at his home in 2019.

Last November, DeValkenaere was convicted one count of second-degree manslaughter and one count of armed criminal action. He was later sentenced to six years in prison.

Fox claims that he saw the refusal of officers to do so first hand in July.

READ: Full lawsuit

Claims of the lawsuit

According to the law suit, Fox called police in July after a break-in at his neighbor's home.

When responding officers arrived, they found a door kicked in and the intruder likely still inside.

However, officers allegedly told Fox "their hands were tied," refused to further investigate and left the scene.

Fox claims that after the incident, he posted about it on Twitter.

After doing so, Fox said that he was harassed and intimidated into removing the Twitter post by three KCPD officers.

Fox said that a watch captain left him a voicemail he considered threatening and two officers later showed up at his home announced to address the matter.

An alleged transcription of the message was included in the lawsuit and can be read below:

Hi Mr. Fox, if this is your number, my name is James [unintelligible], I’m the watchman captain at Metro Patrol. You posted something on Twitter begging for attention, so I was calling you back to try to explain to you our procedures our limitations that have been placed upon us since the 4th amendment ruling concerning Eric DeValkenaere that was passed down like last year that strictly limited out ability to go on private property without owner consent or without vast vast knowledge on something happening like someone screaming for help inside. We no longer search abandoned houses without a warrant from a judge to go in, it strictly limited our ability to provide the public with safety and that’s something you citizens need to know. That ruling had a direct impact on what we can do. Which is affecting you and I don’t agree with it, we should be able to meet your need We should be able to go into a house that’s next to you to keep you safe but we no longer do that because if we go in there and somebody be in there that belongs in there for some reason ya know maybe one of the college students is back and he aims a gun and we shoot at him then we are gunna be brought up on charges so we have to be very careful on how we proceed on those things. But if you want to call me back this is my work number. I’m also going to have a sergeant contact you tonight who is a supervisor of those officers I believe. To talk to you also. umm I’m sorry you had that experience, but many citizens are going to have that same experience but it’s kind of out of the police’s hands until that judgment is overturned on appeal so that we can go back to our business to keep citizens safe, you take care buh-bye.

Fox claims the officers and captain meant to intimidate him and he later deleted the Twitter post.

Specific charges against KCPD, response from department

Fox is suing KCPD for violation of the First Amendment, First Amendment retaliation, conspiracy to violate constitutional rights and grounds for injunctive relief.

KSHB 41 News reached out the department for comment and received the following response.

While we do not generally comment on or speak about details of pending civil litigation to ensure fairness for all sides involved, we want to assure the public that we take any complaints about our members very seriously. And we want the citizens of Kansas City to feel safe in bringing any concerns about an officer’s conduct to our attention, whether it is done through the Office of Community Complaints or brought directly to our department.
KCPD spokesperson

The department also referred KSHB 41 to its department policies and procedures which can be found at this link.

It also specifically referred KSHB 41 to its "Detaining and Questioning and Search and Seizure Procedures Policy." Those policies can be viewed by clicking this link.