Speed Reads

Accountable Cops

Kansas City cop convicted, Colorado city settles in police killings of Black men

While many anti-racist and police reform activists saw the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict as a defeat for their cause, courts have delivered the movement two victories this week that received far less media attention.

Eric DeValkenaere, a former Kansas City police detective who fatally shot a Black man in 2019, was convicted Friday of second-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action, the Kansas City Star reported. DeValkenaere shot Cameron Lamb, who was unarmed at the time, in Lamb's backyard after a report of a car chase brought officers to the scene.

Journalist Matt Yglesias cited the court's decision as evidence that "efforts to demand more accountability are getting results."

The city of Aurora, Colorado, announced Thursday that it will pay a $15 million settlement to the family of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who died at the hands of police in 2019, the Washington Post reported

Police accosted McClain, who was unarmed and on his way home, after receiving a report about a "sketchy" individual. McClain became agitated. Officers placed him in a chokehold, causing him to lose consciousness. Paramedics arrived and administered a large dose of ketamine, which may have contributed to McClain's death. The city has pledged to implement policing reforms, including unconscious bias training.

Three police officers and two paramedics still face criminal charges for their role in the incident. McClain's family is pursuing a federal civil rights lawsuit.