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Top Stories 2012: Chamberlain Family Files $21M Lawsuit

Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. protests a Westchester grand jury's May 2 decision not to indict the White Plains police officers involved in the shooting of his father. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
The Chamberlain family filed a $21 million wrongful death lawsuit against the city of White Plains, its Police Department, Housing Authority and the eight officers who responded to the apartment of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. on Nov. 19, 2011. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Family and supporters of the Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. held a "We Stand In Solidarity" dinner Dec. 1 in his honor. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The White Plains Daily Voice will lead into the New Year by counting down, in no particular order, the top 10 headlines from 2012.

Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. began 2012 having just lost his father, and spent the entire year searching for justice and accountability, which has included filing a $21 million wrongful death lawsuit.

Kenneth Sr., 68, was fatally shot after 5 a.m. Nov. 19, 2011, by White Plains police responding to a medical alert the former Marine and corrections officer had accidentally triggered. 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 responded to the medical alert.

When police began unhinging his door, the recording captures Chamberlain threatening to kill anyone who comes into his apartment. Public Safety Commissioner David Chong has said he thrust a hatchet through the crack of the door, and was holding a kitchen knife and lunged at an officer when police broke down his door and entered his apartment.

A stun gun and four bean bag shots failed to subdue him, leading Officer Anthony Carelli to fatally shoot him twice.

A Westchester County grand jury did not indict any of the eight officers responding to Chamberlain’s home May 2, leading the family to file a $21 million wrongful death lawsuit against the city, its Police Department, Housing Authority and all eight officers. Lawyers for the family amended their complaint Nov. 19 and expect to begin deposing those involved, including the eight officers and Chong.

The family has asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, to investigate the incident, which they announced they will.

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