$5 million settlement reached with family of military veteran killed by police in White Plains

ByMarcus Solis and Eyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, August 9, 2023
White Plains Family react to 'bittersweet' settlement with police
The city of White Plains agreed to a $5 million settlement with the family of a Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., who was shot and killed by a police officer. Marcus Solis has the latest.

WHITE PLAINS, New York (WABC) -- After more than a decade, the city of White Plains has agreed to a $5 million settlement with the family of a 68-year-old marine veteran, who was shot and killed by a White Plains Police officer.

Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. was shot and killed by White Plains Police in 2011 - none of the officers involved were ever charged by a grand jury.

For the former marine's son, Kenneth Chamberlain Jr., news of the settlement is a bittersweet end to a civil suit that has dragged since then.

"This settlement is not a cause for celebration," said Chamberlain Jr. to Eyewitness News. "I always say the one thing I've learned is it's not what you know, it's what you can prove. In my gut, I feel like the case was not presented fairly."

The incident began when Chamberlain Sr. accidentally triggered a medical alert device - the veteran had a heart condition and was bipolar.

What started as a welfare check became a standoff with an increasingly agitated Chamberlain refusing to let the officers in - insisting he was okay. The standoff lasted over an hour.

From there, the officers demanded to enter.

"And then moments after that, he is tased, shot with a bean bag shotgun, and killed," said Chamberlain Jr. "A logical mind would say that's a hate crime."

Chamberlain was tasered, shot with a bean bag, but killed by a gunshot after police say he came at them with a knife.

The family says the autopsy shows Chamberlain was on the ground and not a threat at the time.

"The only people who say he had a knife at that moment were the officers who were there, getting ready to shoot him and those who were present," said attorney of the family, Randolph McLaughlin. "The person who could've really told us what happened is no longer with us."

The officers were never charged criminally, and the Justice Department declined to file civil rights charges.

Chamberlain sued the department and this week White Plains agreed to pay the family $5 million - the largest settlement in the city's history.

"When I say monetary compensation should be part of the process, it is in no way should it be considered a substitute for justice and accountability in these types of issues," said Chamberlain Jr.

Two years ago, the current Westchester County District Attorney ordered a review of the case for possible criminal charges, but last week announced there was insufficient evidence to re-present the case to a grand jury.


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