Cornel West Joins Cause For Kenneth Chamberlain

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Dr. Cornel West (right) offers to speak at a town hall meeting April 20 with Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. (left) on the issue of police accountability in Westchester County. Photo Credit: Kenneth Chamberlain Jr.
Dr. Cornel West will speak and answer questions on police accountability at Mount Hope A.M.E. Zion Church in White Plains April 20 at 4 p.m. Photo Credit: Network For Police Accountability

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Dr. Cornel West will join Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. in White Plains April 20 for a town hall meeting on police oversight and accountability, and the shooting death of his father Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. by White Plains police.

The town hall will take place at 4 p.m. at the Mount Hope A.M.E. Zion Church, which fits about 650 people. Chamberlain Jr. said he expects to fill the church and hopes West’s appearance will draw more local people towards his cause, which is finding justice for his father.

“It’s going to be a beautiful event because I know he brings out numbers,” Chamberlain told The White Plains Daily Voice. “I’m definitely happy that he’s coming up.”

Kenneth Sr., 68, was fatally shot by White Plains police responding to a medical alert that was set off accidentally by the former Marine and corrections officer around 5 a.m. on Nov. 19, 2011. He refused to open the door to allow police to verify his condition.  A recording of the heated exchange between Chamberlain and the police outside his Winbrook Housing apartment was taken by the Life Aid representative who had called him.

The family filed a $21 million wrongful death lawsuit and has asked U.S. Attorney’s office to investigate the incident.

In his efforts to garner greater support from the local community, Chamberlain Jr. has spoken at many events since his father’s death. West approached Chamberlain at a recent dinner benefit and offered to lend his support to his cause.

“It’s definitely going to be question and answer time,” said Chamberlain, who encouraged local politicians to participate in the discussion. “There will be some things that will be said that people will like and there will be some things that people may not like. And this is going to be the forum to air it out, to talk about the issue; not sugar coat this.”

More than a great turnout, Chamberlain hopes people who come to see West pick up on his cause.

“I’m hoping that he can start something within the people of White Plains and Westchester County,” he said. “That we can all come together and we can put the pressure on elected officials that needs to be placed on them.”

Mount Hope A.M.E. Zion Church is on 65 Lake St. Rev. Dr. Odinga Lawrence Maddox will moderate. Chamberlain Jr. will also speak, along with Damon Jones, member of the Westchester chapter of Blacks In Law Enforcement of America, and others yet to be announced.

“Dr. West’s presence lends weight to our argument that this case needs to be investigated thoroughly, and that the officers involved need to be held accountable.” Julie Davis Carran, spokesperson for the Network for Police Accountability, said.

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