Today, hundreds of people from White Plains rallied around a man whose elderly father was shot dead by police in November, 2011. Police say deadly force was warranted in the shooting of ex-Marine Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr., but the family and the community says it’s a case of blatant racism and brutality.
It was after 5 that November morning, when police responded to what started out as a Life Alert call for the 68-year-old who had a heart condition. But it wasn’t his condition, it was two bullets that ended up stopping Chamberlain’s heart. What happened in the minutes between the alert going off and Chamberlain hitting the floor? Chamberlain’s son is hoping some highly explosive video and audio tape will help him answer the question that has kept Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. up every night, “I only have one question right now, and that’s why did you kill my father? What did he do that you felt that deadly physical force was warranted?”
White Plains police won’t say much abou what happened between the time police showed up, and Chamberlain Sr. died. But video and audio recorded from Life Alert, a hallway security camera and officer’s tasers can. Chamberlain Jr. and his attorneys say they’ve seen and heard them.
Attorney Randolph M. McLaughlin says, “They literally broke the man’s door down…they did nothing for an hour and a half to diffuse the situation and to calm this situation down. ”
Attorney Mayo Gregory Bartlett added, “And you can hear that officer say I don’t give an F and use the N word…we don’t care.”
McLaughlin adds says right before police shot Chamberlain Sr., they tried to use a taser, “They proceed to try and shock this man, over and over and then you heard a voice, one of the officers, ‘turn it off,’ and when they turn the taser off, the video went off and the sound went off, and then they killed him.”
White Plains police have stated that before the shots were fired, Chamberlain Sr. grabbed a knife. The Westchester County District Attorney’s office says they plan to present those video and audio recordings to a grand jury within the next month. Hundreds showed up today to rally in White Plains around the man at the center of a situation they say is all too common in this city.
Chamberlain Jr. says he’s confident justice will prevail, “I don’t see any reason why it will not come back that there was some criminal wrongdoing, that these officers be indicted, and charged with murder, not manslaughter but murder, because that’s exactly what they did, they murdered my father.”