Kenneth Chamberlain, Jr. won a major victory today when U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, Judge Cathy Seibel threw out the City of White Plains’ request to dismiss the wrongful death suit Chamberlain Jr. had brought against the City for the fatal shooting of his father Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr. in November 2011, when he was shot in his home at the Winbrook Housing Project during a medical emergency call and died of a bullet wound later at the hospital.
The $21 million lawsuit, which will now proceed, also named the White Plains Housing Authority, but Judge Seibel dismissed those claims as well as claims against some of the White Plains Police Officers named in the suit.
In late July, Judge Seibel had ordered the White Plains Police Department to turn over documents related to training and practices policy. At the time Attorney Randolph McLaughlin, counsel for Chamberlain, Jr., argued that the police department could not unilaterally decide which documents would be considered confidential, and that the request to repress all documentation was “most curious.”
The documents comprising over 600 pages relating to White Plains Police procedure contain information about the department’s policies concerning incidents involving medical emergencies and people with psychological issues.
McLaughlin indicated he wanted to find out if there was a policy in place in White Plains to call in special procedures when an incident involves someone with obvious psychological problems and if during the incident that resulted in the death of Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr. in his home that policy was ignored.
In response to today’s dismissal, Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. released a statement saying that for the first time he felt he was on the path to finding justice for his father.
At this time there is no statement from the City of White Plains Mayors Office or Department of Public Safety on Judge Seibel’s decision.