Chamberlain Opposes Move To Dismiss His Wrongful Death Suit

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Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. filed a wrongful death lawsuit in July against the City of White Plains, it's Police Department, Housing Authority and the eight officers involved in the shooting death of his father Nov. 19, 2011. Photo Credit: Greg Maker

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. is asking supporters to stand with his family Thursday, Sept. 13, when the City of White Plains is expected to seek dismissal of the $21 million wrongful death lawsuit he filed in July.

Chamberlain wrote in an email that his lawyers will argue against the city's request, which he called “frivolous and delaying tactics.”

The defendants named in the case are the city, its Police Department and Housing Authority and the eight officers involved in the incident last year in which police shot and killed Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. They have requested a conference at 11:15 a.m. Sept. 13 with Federal Judge Cathy Siebel to seek permission to file a motion to dismiss the civil lawsuit.

Last Nov. 19 at 5:30 a.m. police responded to a LifeAid medical alert that Chamberlain Sr. accidentally triggered. Chamberlain refused to let police into his ground-floor apartment, despite police insisting he let them in to confirm his condition.

Public Safety Commissioner David Chong said a hatchet was thrust through the crack of the door and confiscated by police. Officers then forced open the door and attempted to use non-deadly force before shooting Chamberlain, who pointed a butcher's knife at Officer Anthony Carelli.

The wrongful death lawsuit charges that the eight police officers violated Chamberlain's constitutional rights when they broke down his apartment door in the 135 S. Lexington Ave. apartment building.

Lawyers for the Chamberlain family have said audio recordings from the medical alert system, used as evidence in Westchester County's grand jury investigation, capture Steven Hart, a white officer, using a racial slur. Hart has been suspended without pay and could face disciplinary actions.

A notice of claim for the wrongful death lawsuit was filed in early May after a Westchester County grand jury decided not to indict police in the shooting. At that time, family lawyers also asked the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York to investigate the incident.

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