“Officers, why do you have your guns out?”
That is the question that Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., a former Marine who had heart problems and wheezed if he walked more than 40 feet, found himself asking police officers around 5am on November 19th, 2011.
It wasn’t long after that question that Mr. Chamberlain was mortally wounded by two gunshots, which came after he was already fired at with tasers and beanbags.
I’ve written previously about the police state we’re progressing into.
Authorities claim that Chamberlain grabbed a knife, and that prompted an officer to fire his gun.
It all began when Chamberlain triggered his medical alert system pendant. The system operator came on the loudspeaker in his one-bedroom apartment, asking: “Mr. Chamberlain, are you O.K.?” All of this is recorded.
Mr. Chamberlain didn’t respond. So the operator signaled for an ambulance. Police patrol cars fell in behind — standard operating procedure in towns across America. Except an hour later, even as Mr. Chamberlain insisted he was in good health, the police had snapped the locks on the apartment door.
When police arrived, they started banging on his door. Chamberlain yelled out to them that he was all right, that they weren’t needed.
According to the official police version, the officers heard loud noises inside and thought someone else might be in danger. They said they needed to force their way inside to make sure everything was okay.
But Chamberlain refused to open the door for them, according to the lawyers who listened to the audio recording. He was angry at being disturbed by the loud banging and by several police cars and fire engines. He became increasingly agitated as he saw more police arriving with guns drawn.
A nearly hour-long standoff ensued.
Last month, the Westchester County district attorney played these for the deceased’s son, Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. “I heard fear,” he says. “In my 45 years on this earth, I never heard my father sound like that.”
Officers taunted Mr. Chamberlain. He shouted: “Semper fi,” the Marine Corps motto. The police answered with loud shouts of “Hoo-rah!” Another officer said he wanted to pee in Mr. Chamberlain’s bathroom. Someone even yelled a racial epithet at the door, according to neighbors.
Kenny Randolph listened from his apartment across the hall. “They put fear in his heart,” he says. “It wasn’t a crime scene until they made it one.”
Two video cameras captured part of the events that night, and the family and its lawyers have seen those as well.
One is a security camera in the hall of the building. Another is attached to the stun gun police used.
Those reportedly show police prying the door partly open. At one point, according to Kenneth Chamberlain Jr., a metal object is slipped through the gap in the door and falls in the hallway.
“It’s hard to tell what it is, but that could be what police are saying was a hatchet,” the son said.
The tape runs for several more minutes while cops and firefighters work to remove the hinges to the door.
When they finally do, a camera reveals Chamberlain Sr. standing inside his apartment, wearing only boxer shorts, with his arms at his side and his hands empty, according to the son and the family’s lawyers.
“The minute they got in the house, they didn’t even give him one command,” the family lawyer, Mayo Bartlett said. “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.”
Why anyone would use a stun gun on a man with a known heart condition is astounding in itself.
But the cameras don’t capture anything more after that point, according to the son and lawyers. Police say Chamberlain later came at them with a knife, and one cop fired two shots. More than four months after the incident, authorities have refused to identify that cop.
This story is disturbing, to say the least. Our police forces are supposed to “Protect and Serve” us, the people. Instead, here they are taunting and ultimately murdering a 68 year old man.
Where is the major media coverage of this? Here’s a clue: You won’t find it.
Rest in peace, Mr. Chamberlain. Semper fi.