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 (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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