WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Take time to tell the people in your life you love them. That was the message from Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. one year after his father was fatally shot by White Plains police officers.
Monday, Chamberlain reflected on the last year, which he has spent pursuing charges against the White Plains Public Safety Department and other city departments through multiple lawsuits.
His father was shot Nov. 19, 2011, by White Plains Police officers responding to a medical alert at his apartment. Chamberlain refused to open the door to allow police to verify his condition during an hour-long standoff. Then, police said, he thrust a knife and hatchet into the opening when officers tried to pry the door open. After they removed the door from its hinges, police said they found Chamberlain holding a knife and antagonizing them. Officers unsuccessfully used a Taser and four bean bag shots to subdue him before Officer Anthony Carelli shot him twice.
The younger Chamberlain wrote:
One year ago today I received a call that my father was shot and killed by members of the White Plains Police Department. Hands down this is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with, especially around holidays, birthdays and now the one-year milestone. Some Days the pain is stronger than others, and you never know when it will hit you, and I have found that most times it is in public and those are the times when I am forced to actively remain composed.
Life is not always fair, and bad things happen to good people and no matter what mistakes or challenges he faced in his walk on this earth, he did not deserve to die in the manner in which he did. I, along with other families who have experienced such tragedies, become consumed by it; our lives are turned completely upside down, there is no such thing as normalcy. We must greet grief each and every day as if it were a long lost friend. We feel shaken, unsure, and vulnerable.
To understand all that has happened I have searched my heart and my soul. I challenge my religious and spiritual beliefs, and I have been forced to look at and re-evaluate my priorities in life; so what once seemed like a big deal and was of great importance is now trivial in comparison to what I am dealing with now.
Life is precious; and it is something that I no longer take for granted. So on the day of my father’s death, please take time out to make sure the people in your life know that you love and appreciate them.
Give them a call, send them a text. When you see them, walk up and say I love you. It may actually mean more to them than you know.
You are loved and will forever be missed Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.
Your son, Kenneth Chamberlain Jr.
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