Kenneth Chamberlain

newsletter by q

People involved in the death and case of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.

Reported events that occurred on the 19th of Nov, 2011

  • During the early morning hours Chamberlain accidentally triggered his medical alert device
  • When the medical response service received no response, the police were called
  • Police arrived to Chamberlain's apartment at around 5:00 am
  • Chamberlain insisted that he was okay, asked the police to leave several times and refused to open the door
  • Police refused to leave, due to policy requiring visual conformation of Chamberlain's well being
  • Officers Anthony Carelli and Steven Hart were at the scene
  • For the next 90 minutes Chamberlain made threating comments to police, as well as threats of suicide
  • Police successfully broke down the door, after 90 minutes of effort
  • Police report that Chamberlain had a "butchers knife" and was waving it around crazily
  • Police attempt taser fire and bean bag projectile fire, these were unsuccessful
  • Finally Officer Anthony Carelli fires fatal shots at Chamberlain, killing him
  • (Autopsy later reveals that Chamberlains alcohol content was .11 at time of death)

The family's $21 Million dollar lawsuit

Chamberlains family's argument

  • Argues that White Plains Police used excessive force
  • Accused White Plains officers of using racial slurs during incident
  • States that the officers had several chances to leave Chamberlains apartment
  • Believes White Plains Police Department and White Plains Housing Authority are responsible for Chamberlains death, and claims death was racially motivated

The White Plains Police Department's argument

  • Claims that the officers were required to enter the apartment to confirm the well being of Chamberlain, because if they hadn't they could have faced a lawsuit
  • Also claims that they had a responsibility to protect Chamberlain in case he was in any danger
  • Officer Steven Hart argued he never used any racial slurs
  • Officer Anthony Carelli claims he shot Chamberlain in self defense
  • WPDPS denies shooting was racially motivated

The Verdict

  • The case was dismissed on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to indict Officer Carelli of the charges of Murder
  • no other indictments were issued

Response to the trial

  • The media chose to side with the Chamberlain family
  • The trial caused a media uproar
  • The public was outraged by the verdict
  • Has since inspired continuation of distrust of police
  • A online petition was started to get all officers involved in the shooting indicted and fired
  • Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. has since become an activist
Kenneth Chamberlain's Family Sues After White Plains Police Evade Charges for Slaying (2 of 2)
Video and 911 tapes reveal what happend before police shot and killed Kenneth Chamberlain

Comparisons to Tom Robinson's case

  • Both Mr.Underwood (The Maycomb Tribune) & the media slanted their reports on each case
  • Tom Robinson & Chamberlain are both African American
  • Both cases created social controversy
  • Both cases had each side make predetermined assumptions
  • Tom Robinson's case dealt with allegations of rape; where as Chamberlain's case dealt with allegations of police brutality
  • Tom Robinson had a chance to fight for his innocence, Chamberlain did not


  • CNN. "Video and 911 Tapes Reveal What Happend before Police Shot and Killed Kenneth Chamberlain." YouTube. YouTube, 04 May 2012. Web. 09 Apr. 2016.
  • Democracynow. "Kenneth Chamberlain's Family Sues After White Plains Police Evade Charges for Slaying (2 of 2)." YouTube. YouTube, 02 July 2012. Web. 09 Apr. 2016.
  • Arce, Rose, and Soledad O'Brien. "Police Officer Cleared in Shooting Death of Ailing Veteran in New York." CNN. Cable News Network, 4 May 2012. Web. 09 Apr. 2016.
  • "EasyBib: The Free Automatic Bibliography Composer." EasyBib. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2016.
  • Kennedy, Helen, Rich Schapiro, Janon Fisher, and Juan Gonzalez. "ID Cop in Fatal Shoot of Retired Marine ." NY Daily News. New York Daily News, 5 Apr. 2012. Web. 09 Apr. 2016.
  • Olivia, Zach. "$21 Million Chamberlain Suit Returns to Court." White Plains, NY Patch. Patch, 13 Sept. 2012. Web. 09 Apr. 2016.
  • "Chamberlain v. City of White Plains Et Al, No. 7:2012cv05142 - Document 78 (S.D.N.Y. 2013)." Justia Law. Justia, 2013. Web. 09 Apr. 2016.