White Plains settles police shooting case for $5 Million

The case of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., whose police shooting in 2011 garnered national attention and ignited discussions about law enforcement's approach to individuals with mental health challenges, has reached a significant resolution with this settlement.

News 12 Staff

Aug 8, 2023, 9:47 AM

Updated 257 days ago

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The family of a White Plains man fatally shot by police during an incident involving mental health issues will receive a $5 million settlement, following approval by the White Plains Common Council.
The case of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., whose police shooting in 2011 garnered national attention and ignited discussions about law enforcement's approach to individuals with mental health challenges, has reached a significant resolution with this settlement.
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On the early morning of Nov. 19, 2011, 68-year-old Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., a Marine Corps veteran suffering from both a chronic heart condition and mental health issues, accidentally activated his medical alert device. Responding to the alert, police officers, firefighters, and EMTs were dispatched to Chamberlain's apartment. Despite his repeated insistence that he did not require assistance and his demand for them to leave, a standoff ensued, lasting for about an hour. The situation escalated, leading to the police breaking down Chamberlain's door. According to police accounts, Chamberlain advanced toward them with a butcher knife, while his family asserts he was unarmed. After the deployment of tasers and bean bags proved ineffective, police shot Chamberlain, who later succumbed to his injuries during surgery.
Multiple reviews at the local and federal levels found no evidence of criminal action by the police. The family initially filed a $21 million civil lawsuit, but neither the police nor the city were deemed liable by the jury. In 2020, an appeals court ruled in favor of the family, ultimately culminating in the $5 million settlement.
Mayor Tom Roach stated, "Although a settlement represents the end of litigation, our work is not done. We are committed to continually reviewing policing policies, investing in training and new technologies as they become available, and working to maintain positive police-community relations, not forgetting these events, but working to ensure they do not happen again."
While Chamberlain's family was not present at the recent meeting, they released a statement expressing their hope that this settlement would inspire other victims of police violence to persist in seeking the truth.


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