KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Monday marked the first day of a criminal trial against a Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department detective charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter in the 2019 shooting death of Cameron Lamb.
While attorneys and prosecutors make their case inside the Jackson County Courthouse in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, lawyers and activists representing Lamb’s family gathered outside on the steps of the courthouse to express concern over the trial.
“In our community, we’re always really weary of the justice system because it has not served us well,” Urban League of Greater Kansas City President Gwen Grant said. “We would certainly rather go forward and have a jury rather than to have a judge, one person, sit and hear this case.”
That judge is 16th Circuit District Court Presiding Judge J. Dale Youngs.
Lee Merritt, an attorney representing the Lamb family, questioned Young’s ability to set aside previous work with the state.
“This judge has also sided with the state in many cases, and the state is putting forward irrefutable evidence of Devalkenaere’s guilt,” Merritt said.
The bench trial continues Tuesday.