Cop in Fatal Shooting of Ex-Marine Kenneth Chamberlain Was Sued in 2008 Racism Case
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AMY GOODMAN: But then you hear something in—
JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, but not only that, but there’s the issue of why—if you know that you’re going to see someone who has a heart condition, why would you fire a taser at them?
MAYO BARTLETT: I would definitely wonder why you would do that. I would think that there’s certainly less deadly uses of force. But I think, at that point, when he’s standing there with his arms at his side and the boxer shorts and no shirt on, 68-year-old man, there’s no need for use of force at all.
AMY GOODMAN: Then talk about what you hear on the taser video.
MAYO BARTLETT: Well, on that taser—well, you can see on the video, you see them, and you see Mr. Chamberlain standing what appears to be possibly eight, maybe even 10, feet away from them. And you can hear them—someone says, "Cut it. Cut it off." And at that point, we believe that that means that they’re aware that they are recording their actions. And at that point, the video and audio feed from the taser end.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, they think they’re cutting off the recording of their actions, but in fact LifeAid has that box in there, and they are recording absolutely everything that is going on.
MAYO BARTLETT: Yes.
AMY GOODMAN: This goes to the issue of what you hear next. And Ken Chamberlain, Jr., again, if you could recount this—and this goes on before and after, when they’re pulling—this is even before they’ve taken the door off its hinges—what your father is saying to them?
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, JR.: You hear a number of things that my father is saying in the audio. One of the things you hear is he’s telling the officers, repeatedly, "I’m OK. I didn’t call you. Why are you doing this to me? Please leave me alone." The officers are telling him pretty much no, that they want to get inside. He’s saying, "I’m a 68-year-old man with a heart condition. I know what you’re going to do. You’re going to come in here, and you’re going to kill me." You hear at one point one of the officers say, "Why would you think that? We’re not going to do that." But he said, "Yes, you are. You have your guns out. Why do you have your guns out? Oh, you have a shield." Now, I’m thinking to myself—
AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean, the shield?
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, JR.: A ballistic shield.
AMY GOODMAN: A full-body ballistic shield.
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, JR.: A full-body shield, yes. So, you hear that. And I’ll even go so far as to say that you even hear on there my father is referring to a black police officer that’s there, too, and he says, "Black officer, why are you letting them do this to me?" So these are some of the things that you hear in the audio. And again, you hear him give his sworn testimony on the audio.
AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean?
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, JR.: He says, "My name is Kenneth Chamberlain, and this is my sworn testimony. White Plains police officers are going to come in here and kill me."
JUAN GONZALEZ: Now—and, of course, we discussed, as well, that the use of a racial epithet at the time also is caught on tape.
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, JR.: Yes, yes. When he asked them why are they doing this, "Please don’t do this to me. Why are you doing this?" one of the officers say, "I don’t give a F," and then use the N-word and says, "Open the door." So, I was very clear in the beginning, when all of this happened, that I wasn’t trying to turn this into any type of racially motivated killing, until we heard the audio. Then, and only then, did I bring that up and say, OK, because, I mean, any logical mind, if you hear that, and then you say, well, what was the outcome? He was shot twice.