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Chamberlain Shooting: Speakers Ask Council to Do More

A group of speakers took a stand against the third-party review of the White Plains Police Department the City of White Plains released this fall.

Unhappy with the third-party review of the White Plains Police Department the City released this fall, a group of speakers addressed the Common Council Monday seeking a deeper look into the death of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.

About a dozen speakers joined Damon Jones of the Blacks in Law Enforcement of America (BLEA) as he submitted a review of the City's evaluation—a review of the review—written by Jimmy Bell, a professor of criminal justice and sociology at Jackson State University.

Those who addressed the Council shared their disapproval of the City's investigation into Chamberlain shooting. The 83-page review the City released in October justified the shooting of the 66-year-old in his White Plains apartment in November, 2011. A panel of third-party law enforcement experts worked on the review for about four months.

"The police department has not really been responding to the level of concern that I think has been expressed by the family and by other people in the community, nor has the city," said Bart Worden, leader of the White Plains-based Ethical Cultural Society of Westchester. 

Julie Curran of White Plains said she is upset that the City hasn't taken responsibility for Chamberlain Sr.'s death, specifically the hour in between when police arrived at the man's apartment and when the fatal gunshots were fired.

"This matter is politically complicated, but it is not humanely complicated," Carran said.

Sandy Bernabei of the Anti Racism Alliance also asked the Council to revisit the issue, saying the City's report didn't address many of the key issues involved in the shooting.

"It's important that we call things by their right name," Bernabei said. "This was straight-up racism."

Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. also attended the meeting Monday; he thanked supporters for their concern after the 30-minute open discussion.

"I'm just happy that the community is coming together to support us in getting justice for my father," Chamberlain Jr. said.

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