A federal judge on Monday set a Nov. 7 trial date in the $21 million wrongful death lawsuit against White Plains, New York, in the police-involved shooting of 68-year-old Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., reports The Journal News.
Chamberlain, an African-American U.S. Navy veteran and retired corrections officer, was shot and killed in 2011 after police responded to a call at his apartment about an alarm on a medical device, notes the report.
The scene turned deadly when Chamberlain, who battled substance abuse, exercised his constitutional right and refused to open the door of his ground-floor apartment to officers, saying the alarm went off by accident, his son, Kenneth Chamberlain Jr., told NewsOne Tuesday in a telephone interview.
But officers gave divergent accounts of the fateful early morning encounter. Police claim shots were fired after Chamberlain brandished a knife at officers during an hours-long standoff in a case that has national implications in the ongoing debate about the use of excessive police force in communities of color.
U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel called the case a close call, throwing out “most of the suit’s claims and excused all of the defendants except Officer Anthony Carelli, who shot Chamberlain, and the city, as his employer,” writes The News:
Despite being shot with a stun gun and bean bags, police said Chamberlain continued to come at them and threaten them. When he allegedly charged at one of the officers with the knife, Chamberlain was shot and killed by [officer Anthony] Carelli.
Chamberlain Jr. bristled at the notion that the case is a close call, noting that his dad was on the floor when Officer Carelli shot him. One of the bullets lodged into the wall, just inches from the floor, he said.
“How is that a close call? My dad could not have been standing when the shot was fired” because the officer was aiming for his torso, he said. Still, a New York grand jury in 2012 declined to indict Carelli.
But Chamberlain, 49, a father of three grown children and a teenager, is hopeful he will claim justice for his father in the wrongful death suit. He says he’s pleased to be fighting for his father, who served his country in the military and as a law enforcement officer.
“The other day my kids told me they were proud of me,” said Chamberlain, who works as a case manager for the Urban League of Westchester County, New York. “Their grandfather, my dad, taught us not to quit, and to never give up.”
18 Black Men & Youths Who Were Killed By Police
1. Amadou Diallo, 221 of 37
2. Sean Bell, 23Source:Instagram 2 of 37
3. Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., 68Source:Instagram 3 of 37
4. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Instagram 4 of 37
5. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty Images 5 of 37
6. Mohamed Bah, 27Source:Instagram 6 of 37
7. Kimani Gray, 167 of 37
8. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Instagram 8 of 37
9. Victor White III, 22Source:Instagram 9 of 37
10. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Instagram 10 of 37
11. Jason Harrison, 39Source:Instagram 11 of 37
12. Eric Garner, 43Source:Instagram 12 of 37
13. John Crawford, 22Source:Instagram 13 of 37
14. Omar Abrego, 3714 of 37
15. Michael Brown Jr, 18Source:Instagram 15 of 37
16. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images 16 of 37
17. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty Images 17 of 37
18. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Instagram 18 of 37
19. Darrien Hunt, 22Source:Instagram 19 of 37
20. Jack Jacquez, 2720 of 37
21. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty Images 21 of 37
22. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Instagram 22 of 37
23. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Instagram 23 of 37
24. Walter Scott, 5024 of 37
25. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Instagram 25 of 37
26. Ronald “RJ” Williams, 23Source:Instagram 26 of 37
27. Michael Sabbie, 35Source:Instagram 27 of 37
28. Delrawn Small, 3728 of 37
29. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Instagram 29 of 37
30. Philando Castile, 32Source:Instagram 30 of 37
31. Gregory Frazier, 5631 of 37
32. Tyre King, 13Source:Instagram 32 of 37
33. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Instagram 33 of 37
34. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Instagram 34 of 37
35. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Instagram 35 of 37
36. Reginald Thomas, 36Source:Instagram 36 of 37
37. Carnell Snell Jr., 18Source:Instagram 37 of 37
SOURCE: The Journal News | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty