White Plains — U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel issued a bench ruling, decided that the $21 million wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of White Plains veteran, Kenneth Chamberlain, who was shot and killed by police will go to trial, at the Charles L. Brieant United States Courthouse (300 Quarrapas Street, White Plains) Courtroom 621 on Monday afternoon.
The courtroom was not just standing room only inside but several people stood outside the courtroom to hear the judge’s ruling. Some traveled from as far away as Brooklyn, the Bronx and even Rockland County to show their support for Chamberlain, Jr.
Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. was shot and killed by White Plains Police on Nov. 19, 2011. Since that day, Kenneth Chamberlain Jr., has been waiting for his family’s day in court, which will finally comes almost five years to the day of his death, on Monday, November 7th. When Chamberlain Jr., exited to courthouse, the teary eyed community activist could barely find the words to express how he felt.
“I am pleased with the decision,” was all he could get out before becoming emotional as he talked about the five years that have passed since his father’s death.
“This is a close call,” the Honorable Cathy Seibel said in setting a Nov. 7 trial date in the $21 million wrongful death lawsuit against the city in the police shooting of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr brought by Chamberlain’s family. “There is enough evidence to proceed.” Seibel said from the bench.
Seibel threw 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.
Carelli’s lawyer, Andrew Quinn, try to sell a story that the former veteran and retired Westchester County Correction officer was still charging the police aggressively after being tasered and shot with four 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 Carelli.
Debra Cohen, one of the Chamberlain family’s team of lawyers, said the trial will focus “like a laser” on whether Chamberlain was actually on his feet, charging with a knife or still lying on the floor after being shot with bean bags at a force similar to “a Mike Tyson punch or a Nolan Ryan fastball.”
She said evidence will show that Chamberlain was on the floor, and that discrepancies between the accounts from various officers on the scene showed that they lacked credibility.
Court papers filed by the family say police taunted Chamberlain by calling him the N-Word during the standoff. The lawsuit was filed after a Westchester County grand jury decided not to bring criminal charges against any of the officers involved in the incident.
In the questions portion of the press conference, Chamberlain Jr is asked about WPPD officers use of the N-Word in the death of his father.
BW stands with Kenneth Chamberlain Jr, in his journey to seek justice for the senseless killing of his father at the hands of the White Plains Police Department. While it was good to hear the news, Monday of the court ruling of U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel, what the supporters including the BW staff felt can not compare to what Chamberlain, Jr is feeling right now.
“We finally get our day in court!!! Dad I told you I would not stop and I didn’t…” Chamberlain Jr writes on his Facebook page Monday night!
#Justice4KennethChamberlain can be more than just a popular hashtag, writing on signs of protest and letters on a t-shirt for the first time in five years!