WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. was fatally shot by a White Plains police officer Nov. 19, 2011. Saturday, his family and supporters will honor his memory near the one-year anniversary of his death.
The Chamberlain family will hold a gathering at 10 a.m. at either the Thomas H. Slater Center on 2 Fisher Court or Bethel Baptist Church across the street. They will then march to the Winbrook Housing Complex on 135 S. Lexington Ave., where police shocked Chamberlain with a stun gun, then shot him with two bean bag shots and, finally, two fatal bullets.
Saturday, a press conference will follow the march.
The officer who shot him was one of eight responding to a LifeAid medical alert that Chamberlain Sr. accidentally triggered around 5 a.m. Nov. 19, 2011. The 68-year-old retired corrections officer and former Marine 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, Chong has said.
A wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family in August charges that the eight police officers violated Chamberlain's constitutional rights when they broke down his apartment door.
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.
The city of White Plains, named in the wrongful death lawsuit, commissioned an independent investigation of the incident, which found that police were "totally justified" in their actions.