Son Sues White Plains Police Department Alleging Father’s Death Was ‘Hate Crime’
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- The son of a former Marine is suing the White Plains Police Department, alleging that the death of his father was a hate crime.
In November of last year, police responded to the sounding of a medical alert device belonging to 68-year-old Kenneth Chamberlain, who is black, at his home on Lexington Avenue.
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Inside Chamberlain’s first-floor apartment the call quickly became anything but routine.
Police claim they arrived to the scene of an emotionally disturbed Chamberlain, who authorities claim was screaming and at one point, displayed a knife through a door crack.
Police tried to use a Taser and bean-bag gun to subdue Chamberlain before eventually shooting him twice.
“Mr. Chamberlain was brutally shot down and killed by the White Plains Police Department in November of 2011,” Attorney Randolph McLaughlin said.
Police have said that the deadly force was justified.
The incident was captured on both video and audio recording — including video from outside the apartment, audio from his medical alert pendant and audio and video from the Taser used by police.
Chamberlain’s son, Kenneth Chamberlain, Jr., who was allowed to hear and see the recordings, said that he believes the shooting was “murder” and a “hate crime.”
“In my opinion, you murdered by father and I want justice for my father,” Chamberlain, Jr. said.
Lawyers for the family have said officers could be heard taunting Chamberlain and using racial slurs.
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“The audio tape has Mr. Chamberlain stating ‘Sir, please leave me alone. I’m alright, I didn’t call you.’ And the officer uses the expletive ‘We don’t give an [expletive]’ and then used the N-word,” attorney Mayo Bartlett said.
The lawsuit alleges a wrongful death and a grand jury will soon hear the case. The district attorney and police department declined comment because of the active investigation.