Justice for Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr.

By now millions of people know about of the tragic killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida. Far fewer, though, know about the equally, if not more tragic killing of Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr. an elderly veteran with a heart condition who lived in White Plains, New York, who was killed by police in his own home last November. Around 5:30 a.m. on the morning of November 19, 2011, Chamberlain, 68, unknowingly triggered the medical-alert pendant he wore around his neck while he was sleeping. The medical alert company contacted Chamberlain’s apartment through a speaker box in the dining room to ask if he was all right. When Chamberlain didn’t respond, the company called 911 and told police they were responding to a medical emergency, not a crime. The police arrived at Chamberlain’s house and knocked on the door. Chamberlain woke up, went to the door and told the police that he was fine and that he didn’t call them. The police insisted on gaining entry to Chamberlain’s home, though, insisting that they wanted to see that he was all right. Chamberlain kept refusing to open the door and asking them to leave. Finally, after about an hour of this standoff, the officers, uttering racial slurs and expletives, broke down Mr. Chamberlain’s front door. Once inside, they fired a taser at Mr. Chamberlain. The taser prongs apparently missed Mr. Chamberlain and one of the officers shot Mr. Chamberlain in the chest, killing him. The police maintain the shooting was justified, saying Mr. Chamberlain had come at them with a hatchet and a butcher knife. The entire incident was recorded on the medical alert company’s audio recorder, and video of the incident was recorded by the taser gun, which has a video camera in it. So far the White Plains Police have refused to disclose the name of the officer who killed Mr. Chamberlain. Mr. Chamberlain’s son, Kenneth Chamberlain, Jr., was recently interviewed on Democracy Now! about the incident. He also started a Facebook page, Justice 4 Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., and posted an online petition to pressure police to reveal the audio and video recordings of the incident to an upcoming grand jury. The police have showed the recordings to the family, but so far have not released the tapes to the public or the courts.

Main source: Democracy Now! March 29, 2012

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