Lawyers Say White Plains Police Shooting Was Justified

A grand jury is expected on the case this week

By Jim Fitzgerald
|  Monday, Apr 9, 2012  |  Updated 3:06 PM EDT
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Fatal Shooting of NY Man Could Go to Grand Jury

What really happened to Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.? Police claim they shot the 68-year-old man in self-defense when he attacked them with a hatchet and a knife -- but since that happened four months ago, more and more evidence has been poking holes in the officers' story. Roseanne Colletti spoke with Chamberlain's son, who wants justice for his father.
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The police officer who killed a 68-year-old man in his apartment was justified in shooting him and will testify before a grand jury, his lawyers said Monday.

The attorneys are responding to the disclosure last week that the policeman involved in the November shooting was White Plains Officer Anthony Carelli.

No one has been charged in the killing of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.

Attorneys Andrew Quinn and John D'Alessandro predicted in an email message that Carelli will be cleared, although his actions may not be "understandable or acceptable to the family members, attorneys and other emissaries of the Chamberlain family."

On Nov. 19, police were dispatched to the Winbrook Houses public housing project to aid  Chamberlain, a chronically ill heart patient. Chamberlain apparently had accidentally triggered his medical alert pendant, and when the responding officers banged on his door, he told them he was OK and refused to let them in.

But then Chamberlain and the police became engaged in an hour-long standoff, and the officers eventually forced open the door, fearing someone else inside was in danger, according to police.

Kenneth Chamberlain Jr., son of the retired corrections officer, said the officers then used a Taser on his father for no reason, "shot him with a bean bag gun four times and then fired two fatal shots."

“My father was murdered by the same people that were supposed to come and help him,” the son said.

Police said Chamberlain was shot after coming at them with a hatchet and knife.

The medical alert company’s voice box in the room captured the conversation, which has not been released to the public.

There is also abbreviated video of Chamberlain captured by the camera on the officer's stun gun.

Mayor Bartlett, the attorney representing the Chamberlain family, alleged the police officers used racial slurs and taunted the elderly man.

A grand jury inquiry is expected this week and Carelli's lawyers say he will testify.

Carelli's lawyers predict he will be cleared.

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