05 April 2012

Racist NY cops kill veteran in own home

Ran across this article on BoingBoing - and then researched it further. There are now pieces on it in the Guardian, the Daily Mail, and the New York Daily News.

Basic story is, Kenneth Chamberlain, a 68-year-old former Marine with heart troubles, accidentally triggered his medical alert pendant. After officers came to his house to check on him, he told them, through his door, that he was fine. He also told the people from the medical alert company that he was fine. The medical alert company called the cops and asked them to step down, told the cops that everything was okay. The cops then insulted Chamberlain, knocked down the door, tazed him, and eventually shot and killed him.

Audio from the whole situation was recorded. Video from parts of it were recorded - the cops turned off the video before they shot Chamberlain.

From the Guardian article:

Chamberlain Jr repeated what he heard his father say on the tape: "He says, 'I'm a 68-year-old man with a heart condition. Why are you doing this to me?' … You also hear him pleading with the officers again, over and over. And at one point, that's when the expletive is used by one of the police officers." One of Chamberlain Jr's lawyers, Mayo Bartlett, told me about the racial slur. Bartlett is a former Westchester county prosecutor, so he knows the ropes. He was explicit in recounting what he heard on the recording.

"Kenneth Chamberlain Sr said to the police, 'I'm a sick old man.' One of the police officers replied, 'We don't give a fuck, nigger!'" The recording also includes a taunt from the police, as related by Bartlett, "Open the door, Kenny, you're a grown-ass man!" It was when Chamberlain Jr related how the police mocked his father's military service that he broke down. "He said, 'Semper fi.' So they said, 'Oh, you're a marine. Hoo-rah. Hoo-rah.' And this is somebody that served this country. Why would you even say that to him?" Chamberlain Jr wept as he held his father's marine ring and veterans administration card.

The LifeAid operator that November morning, hearing the exchange live, called the White Plains police in a desperate attempt to cancel the call for emergency medical aid. Chamberlain Sr's niece, who lives in the building, ran down, trying to intervene. Chamberlain Sr's sister was on her mobile, offering to talk to her brother. The police denied any attempt at help. One was heard on the recording saying "we don't need any mediator".

From the New York Daily News:

During the past several days, nearly 200,000 people have signed an online petition demanding justice in Chamberlain’s case. White Plains Mayor Tom Roach on Friday issued his first public statement of condolences to the dead man’s family.

That’s a far different atmosphere and tone than in November.

Back then, police reports stated a deranged man had attacked officers with a hatchet and a knife before cops shot him in self-defense. White Plains Public Safety Commissioner David Chong quickly declared it a “warranted use of deadly force.”

But as the weeks passed, the official story became riddled with holes.

From the Daily Mail:

On the recording an officer is apparently heard screaming 'I don't give a f*** n*****, open the door', a second yells 'I need to use your bathroom to pee', while others taunted him about his military background.

On one of the videos, police are shown prying part of the door open. A metal object, which could be what police thought was a hatchet, slips through the gap and falls in the hallway.

They remove the hinges to the door and, on entering the flat, see Chamberlain standing in his boxer shorts, with his arms at his side and hands empty.

Family lawyer Mayo Bartlett, a former Westchester assistant district attorney, told the New York Daily News: 'The minute they got in the house, they didn’t even give him one command.

'They never mentioned 'put your hands up.' They never told him to lay down on the bed. The first thing they did ... you could see the Taser light up ... and you could see it going directly toward him.'

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks Like we the people need protection from the "POLICE"!!