WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — Police in suburban New York responding to a medical alert used excessive force when they killed an emotionally disturbed 68-year-old ex-Marine, the man's son claimed in a $21 million lawsuit Monday.
The federal lawsuit also alleges a conspiracy by eight members of the White Plains Police Department to deprive the victim, Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., of his constitutional rights.
A call to the police commissioner was referred to City Hall, where Karen Pasquale, senior adviser to Mayor Thomas Roach, said the city would not comment on a pending lawsuit.
Police went to Chamberlain's apartment after a monitoring company reported that his medical alert device had gone off. Chamberlain, who had a heart condition, repeatedly told officers through his locked door that he was fine, but they insisted on seeing him.
When they removed the apartment door, police said, Chamberlain came at them with a knife and hatchet. He was hit with a stun gun, beanbags and finally gunshots.
Chamberlain was black. The officer who fired the fatal shots is white.
"We've charged a conspiracy against the rights of minority group members in White Plains and Mr. Chamberlain in particular," said attorney Randolph McLaughlin. He said one officer's use of an ethnic slur backs the conspiracy claim.
Two months ago, a Westchester County grand jury found no crime had been committed in the Nov. 19 killing. District Attorney Janet DiFiore called the killing "a tragedy on many levels" but said the grand jury found no reasonable cause for an indictment.
The victim's son, Kenneth Chamberlain Jr., said Monday that the evidence — including extensive audio and video from the scene — "was not presented fully and fairly" to the grand jury.
"Make no mistake, my father was murdered," he said.
He said the civil suit "allows us to take control of the situation. This time we will present the evidence."
McLaughlin said a police report indicates Chamberlain Sr., an ex-Marine, fell to the ground after being hit by the beanbags.
"Why didn't they swarm him then?" McLaughlin said. "Why did they have to kill him?"
Chamberlain's son 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.
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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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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