Racially-Motivated Killing the Media Missed? NY Police Called Out on Medical Alert Shoot Dead 68 Year Old Black Veteran
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KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, JR.: He has a heart condition, and he also suffered from COPD. And when he—the pendant was triggered—
AMY GOODMAN: You’re holding that in—
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, JR.: Yes.
AMY GOODMAN: —his hand.
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, JR.: This is his pendant right here. It was triggered, and the medical company—there’s a box inside his home. The medical company asked him if he was all right. They didn’t get a response. So, automatically, if you don’t get a response, they send medical services to your house. They informed the police that they are responding to a medical emergency, not a crime. And once they arrived at my father’s home, my father did tell them that he was OK. But for some reason, they wanted to gain entry into my father’s home. I don’t know why. And in the audio, you hear my father telling them that he’s fine, he’s OK.
JUAN GONZALEZ: Now, this is an important point, that there was audio going on throughout this between the firm and your father.
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, JR.: Correct.
JUAN GONZALEZ: And so, much of the activity of the police was caught on this audio.
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, JR.: Yes, it was.
AMY GOODMAN: So the box on the wall records everything that’s—
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, JR.: It’s actually a box that just sat on his table in the—in his dining room area. It just sat there. And it’s connected to the phone company. So if he does trigger it, as I said, you hear a loud beeping noise. And then the operator, from their central station, will come on, and they say, "Mr. Chamberlain, are you OK? You triggered your alarm. Is everything all right?" And, of course, if they don’t get a response, they then contact the officials.
JUAN GONZALEZ: Now you were able to hear this audio because the DA’s office allowed you to hear it? How did you—
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, JR.: Yes.
JUAN GONZALEZ: But it has not yet been released.
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, JR.: No, it hasn’t.
AMY GOODMAN: So, continue. You hear your father through the door telling the police he’s OK. This is about 5:00 in the morning?
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, JR.: Yes. He’s saying that he’s OK. He’s saying that he did not call for them. But they were very insistent. They were banging on the door, banging on the door, banging on the door. So you hear one of the officers say to him, "Well, you pushed your—you triggered your alarm now." He said, "That’s because I want you to leave me alone." And they just kept telling him, "Open the door. Open the door. Let us see that you’re all right." At some point, the door was cracked open, because the police officers have a taser that has a camera on it, and it also has audio. So you could see where the door was cracked open. So, once you’ve gotten a visual, and you’ve seen that my father is OK, and he’s telling you that he’s OK, why would you still insist on getting into the apartment? Which is the question that I have. And they weren’t responding to a crime. He was sleeping and accidentally triggered his alarm.
JUAN GONZALEZ: And the officers then did what?
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, JR.: Ultimately, after using expletives and racial slurs, they broke down the door. You can see on the video from the taser that they fired a taser at him. And I’m assuming that both prongs didn’t go in. He stood about maybe eight to 10 feet away from them with his hands down to his side. And at one point, you hear one of the officers say, "Cut it off." And it was at that point they shot and killed my father.