NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The son of a 68-year-old former Marine who was shot and killed by White Plains police is filing a $21 million lawsuit.
The lawsuit blames White Plains and eight members of its Police Department for excessive force, wrongful death, conspiracy and more in the death of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.
1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports
“My family and I didn’t ask for any of this,” Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. said outside Federal Court in Manhattan on Monday. “If I could turn back the hands of time and have my father with me right now that would be the best thing for all of us.”
The lawsuit charges police taunted Chamberlain, who served in both Vietnam and Haiti, with racial slurs and knocked down his door before shooting him to death.
In November 2011, police went to Chamberlain’s apartment after his medical alert pendant was accidentally triggered.
Chamberlain, who had a heart condition, repeatedly told officers through his locked door that he was fine, but they insisted on seeing him.
Police took the door off and, they said, Chamberlain came at them with a cleaver and a knife.
Officers shot Chamberlain with a Taser, a shotgun loaded with beanbags and a 9mm handgun almost simultaneously, CBS 2s Lou Young reported in April. The autopsy showed Chamberlain had been drinking and was killed by a gunshot that hit him from the side, went through his arm and laterally through his torso hitting both lungs.
“This was about the fact that he refused to open that door and they were going to break that door down and teach him a lesson that unfortunately led to his death,” attorney Randolph McLaughlin said. “That’s the lesson they taught him, ‘We will kill you because you don’t open the door.'”
WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports
“Make no mistake, my father was murdered,” Chamberlain said.
He is still hoping for a criminal indictment from the U.S. attorney’s office, which said in May it would review the evidence.
The lawsuit names the city of White Plains, its housing authority and eight members of the police department, including Officer Anthony Carelli, who fired the fatal gunshots.
“We’ve charged a conspiracy against the rights of minority group members in White Plains and Mr. Chamberlain in particular,” said McLaughlin, adding that one officer’s use of an ethnic slur backs the conspiracy claim.
In addition to excessive force and conspiracy, the lawsuit alleges wrongful death. It says the city failed to properly train and supervise the police and the housing agency illegally gave police keys to the building’s apartments.
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