Protestors Seek Answers a Year After Chamberlain Shooting

Members of the New York NAACP joined the family of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. Saturday to make the one year anniversary of the White Plains man's death.

Nearly one year after a White Plains police officer fired a fatal gunshot into the chest of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., protestors say they are still seeking justice for the shooting.

Members of the New York NAACP joined members of the Chamberlain family and about 100 protestors on a march to the steps of the White Plains public safety building Saturday. A vigil was also held at the nearby Thomas H. Slater Center.

In front of the public safety building, attorneys representing the family said they are still seeking answers and accountability from the city one year after the shooting.

"This is where they were trained, this is where they received their instruction on how to kill someone in the dead of night in their home," said Randolph McLaughlin, one of the attorney's representing the Chamberlain family.

White Plains police officer Anthony Carelli shot Chamberlain Sr. while police responded to an early morning medical call from Chamberlain's apartment on Nov. 19, 2011. 

Police broke down the door to Chamberlain's apartment in the Winbrook Housing complex and shot Tasers and beanbags at the 68-year-old before Carelli fired two shots, according to court records.

Police say they had to visibly see if Chamberlain was safe and whether there was anyone else in the apartment. Police also believed Chamberlain was mentally disturbed at the time. Autopsies later showed Chamberlain was legally intoxicated.

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced earlier this year that a grand jury failed to indict any of the officers involved in the shooting. In October, the City of White Plains released the results of a third-party investigation deeming the shooting justified.

Leroy Gadsden, chairman of criminal justice for the New York NAACP told protestors Saturday the lack of accountability in the case shows an institutional problem with the justice system in Westchester County.

"There is something wrong with the law enforcement and judiciary system in White Plains," Gadsden said. "Time after time we have to stand by and watch innocent black men killed by police officers without a symbol of accountability or justice.

The Chamberlain family filed a $21 million federal lawsuit against the City of White Plains, White Plains Housing Authority and several members of the White Plains Police Department in July. The family has also called on the United States Department of Justice to conduct an investigation into the shooting.

McLaughlin accused the City of White Plains of a series of cover-ups following the shooting, starting with a lack of accountability in the weeks after the incident and continuing into civil proceedings as recently as this fall.

On Monday, one year to the day after the shooting, McLaughlin said attorneys representing the Chamberlain family will file an amendment to the civil case. Mayo Bartlett, who is also representing the Chamberlain family, said the amendment will clarify new information still being received from the city.

As civil proceedings continue, Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. said he remains optimistic that criminal charges will be filed against the officers involved.

"There will be justice for Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.," he said. "When I say that I am talking about arrests of officers."


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