There are new calls for justice in the case of an unarmed, 68-year-old Marine veteran shot and killed by local police. Officers from White Plains fatally shot Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr. in the entry of his apartment in the Winbrook public housing project in downtown White Plains last November 19th. They had said that he’d posed a threat to officers, but evidence that’s emerged since then shows otherwise. What’s also emerged is a grassroots movement of some 200,000 people calling for a thorough investigation.
“I know if the situation were reversed, my father would be here saying he wants justice for me,” Kenneth Chamberlain, Jr. said to PIX11 News about why he is doggedly pursuing the case of the Tasering and fatal shooting of his father by police who had been called to provide aid to the senior Chamberlain.
He was not only a former Marine, but also a retired corrections officer who had accidentally rolled onto a life-aid pendant he’d worn in his sleep. The move alerted a call center, which in turn asked police to check on Chamberlain. When cops knocked, around 5:09 A.M., Chamberlain told them he was fine. He refused, however, to open the door.
“He told [them] he was fine, so he did not have to let [them] into his home, Kenneth Chamberlain, Jr. said. “He knew that, and he said that ‘I know my rights. I don’t have to let you in.’ They should’ve left it at that.”
Chamberlain, Jr. and his attorneys know that information because it was all recorded. An audio and video component of Chamberlain’s life-aid pendant system recorded officers saying, during a nearly hour-long standoff, “I don’t give a f—, n—–, open the door!” Surveillance cameras in the hallway outside of the apartment on South Lexington Avenue also captured what went on, and there was also a camera mounted on a Taser that officers had with them.
At least a dozen officers are estimated to have responded to the first floor apartment. They eventually unhinged Chamberlain’s door, and when they removed it, they used the Taser on him. When Chamberlain didn’t go down from its shot, it was turned off, and police shot him with a gun — hitting him twice, once fatally.
“I want justice for my father,” Chamberlain Sr. said. “I want these officers charged with second degree murder.”
One of the team of attorneys that are now handling this case says the evidence is crystal clear that police are not only in the wrong, but that they used deadly force needlessly.
“Those audio and video tapes do not lie,” lawyer Mayo Bartlett told PIX11 News. “When you hear that you’ll be left with the impression that nobody would have done what these officers ended up doing.”
The Westchester County district attorney, Janet DiFiore, has told Chamberlain and is attorneys that all of the evidence will be presented to a grand jury that will convene this month. Neither she nor the White Plains Police have said if the officer who fired the fatal shot will be identified, which is information Chamberlain has called for.
He started a petition last month seeking 200,000 signatures. Currently, the petition is short of its goal by just 6,000 signatures.