It is by now old news that George Zimmerman has finally been arrested for the unprovoked killing of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, 17 yr old African American teenager on his way home from the store with a bit of junk food. It took over a month and huge public outcry to get even this small step towards justice but it is the right first step.
But in case you need something new to get outraged about I would like to call your attention to the equally, if not more, outrageous case of Kenneth Chamberlain’s murder at the hands of Whiteplains NY police officers.
Police were summoned to the scene for a possible medical emergency, not a crime. It turned out to be a false alarm, but by the time they left, Kenneth Chamberlain was dead. Sounds pretty bad, right? Well, maybe the details offer some hope it was not so bad, maybe deadly force was necessary and unavoidable…
- The knife police claimed he attacked them with turns out to have been a butter knife taken from him before they entered
- the incident occurred inside Mr Chamberlain’s own home
- he was a 68 year old with a heart condition
- against one old man, there were many police officers on the scene, some with full body armor
- the medical alert was cancelled and the police told they were not needed
- one of the officers replied to his protestation that he was a sick old man with “We don’t give a fuck, nigger”
- the police spent two hours on scene with Chamberlain telling them he was all right and did not need assistance yet they ended up breaking down his door and killing him in his boxer shorts
- family members were on scene and available on the phone to deescalate the situation but the police said they would handle it themselves
- the police camera mounted on the taser shows Kenneth Chamberlain being summarily tasered with no initial command to put his hands up or lie down or anything
- Kenneth Chamberlain was a black man and several of the officers were already in trouble for racism charges in other cases
- the medical alert monitor recorded the audio of the entire incident, which no doubt would otherwise have been brushed under the rug as easily as other similar, unwitnessed atrocities
Okay, I guess the details don’t help their case. And yet the district attorney has found no reason to charge anyone with anything. Nothing. At least there will now be a federal probe but time will tell in this, as in Trayvon Martin’s killing, if justice will be done or not.
Sorry to be off topic, but stories like these really make my blood boil and at least bringing a bit more attention to this case is one small thing I can do.