WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. said the City of White Plains disrespected him and his family with a report it commissioned that described the shooting death of his father by police as "totally justified".
The 83-page report examining the White Plains Police Department found that it “is an extremely professional and well run police organization, a credit to its leadership and the leadership of the City of White Plains.”
Chamberlain Jr. disagreed Wednesday.
"My father was a victim of a crime," Chamberlain said. "He was not a suspect, he was a victim of a crime. The leadership, in my opinion, in White Plains can't be trusted to do the right thing. That means the leadership in White Plains has to change."
Chamberlain Jr. showed a shirt that reads "Can u identify the victim in this lineup with a black X covering the faces of White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach, County Executive Robert Astorino and County District Attorney Janet Difiore and his father in the background.
The report, released last week, was conducted by four academic analysts and based on four months of research, including site visits, interviews of police personnel, examination of policies and procedures. The report recounts the Nov. 19 shooting in 11 paragraphs, which Damon Jones, the New York representative of Blacks In Law Enforcement of America, said is incomplete.
Jones said the report doesn't mention officer Steven Hart's use of a racial slur, as the Chamberlain family lawyers have alleged, or that officers repeatedly banged on his apartment door. Family lawyers said the analysts didn't interview any of the officers present at Chamberlain's apartment, and that any interviews they did do wouldn't show how officers regularly interact with people.
"This report is completely one sided. How can you analyze police policies and procedures without talking to the community which it affects," Jones said. "They didn't go to Ferris Avenue, they didn't go down to Lake Street."
Chamberlain, 68, was shot twice by Officer Anthony Carelli after police responded to a medical alert from Life Aid that Chamberlain had accidentally triggered around 5:30 a.m. Nov. 19, 2011. During an hour-long standoff at his apartment, Chamberlain refused to open his door to allow police to verify his condition.
The report says Chamberlain threatened to kill the officers multiple times, while holding a meat cleaver and then a butcher knife.
Once inside the room, “officers attempted to deploy a Taser to incapacitate Chamberlain." The report says Chamberlain still clutched the butcher knife and three bean bag shots followed, but were also ineffective. Carelli then fired two rounds “to stop Chamberlain.”
Chamberlain said the report, "is not worth the paper it's printed on."
Chamberlain and his supporters will attend the Nov. 5 meeting of the Common Council to express their outrage over the findings of the report. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. and is held at City Hall, 255 Main St.
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