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.”
41 Black Men & Youths Who Were Killed By Police
1. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 1 of 41
2. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 2 of 41
3. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 3 of 41
4. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 4 of 41
5. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 5 of 41
6. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 6 of 41
7. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 7 of 41
8. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 8 of 41
9. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 9 of 41
10. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 10 of 41
11. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 11 of 41
12. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 12 of 41
13. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 13 of 41
14. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 14 of 41
15. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 15 of 41
16. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 16 of 41
17. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 17 of 41
18. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 18 of 41
19. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 19 of 41
20. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 20 of 41
21. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 21 of 41
22. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 22 of 41
23. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 23 of 41
24. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 24 of 41
25. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 25 of 41
26. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 26 of 41
27. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 27 of 41
28. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 28 of 41
29. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 29 of 41
30. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 30 of 41
31. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 31 of 41
32. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 32 of 41
33. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 33 of 41
34. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 34 of 41
35. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 35 of 41
36. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 36 of 41
37. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 37 of 41
38. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 38 of 41
39. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 39 of 41
40. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 40 of 41
41. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 41 of 41
SOURCE: The Journal News | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty