The Trayvon Martin story remains in national headlines this week, but little media attention has been paid to a similarly troubling case: that of Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr., a 68-year-old Marine vet killed in his home last November by police officers in White Plains, NY.
The officers were responding to a false alarm accidentally triggered by Chamberlain's medical alert pendant while he slept. Instead of helping the man, who had a heart condition, they broke down his front door, tasered him, reportedly called him the "n-word" and mocked him, then shot him dead.
Audio throughout the incident was recorded by his medical alert device.
Democracy Now has an extensive segment on the case, including an interview with the deceased man's son, Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. The New York Times ran a story on the case a few weeks ago.
The police department has so far refused to release the name of the officer who killed the elderly man:
“In the other incidents that you have out here of questionable shootings, the officers' names were given out. So it only makes my family and I wonder why isn’t this officer’s name released?” said Chamberlain Jr. “Had that been myself or any other citizen inside here that shot and killed someone, our whole life history would be on television, on the radio and in the newspaper. I feel that it’s only right, it’s only fair that that officer’s name be released.”
The officer is believed to currently be on duty, still working for the White Plains police. After public outcry, local protests, and an online campaign for case review, the local DA this week promised that a grand jury will hear the case. The family intends to sue.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.