This petition is regarding the upcoming Grand Jury hearing in the case of Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr., an unarmed elderly black citizen who was shot to death by the White Plains Police Department.
This case not only brings into question the policies and practices of this department; but it is an open question whether it was inevitable, particularly in light of the audio tapes and video tapes witnessed by Mr. Chamberlain’s family members and attorneys where racial slurs and expletives were used before ultimately shooting him twice in the chest and killing him.
It is imperative that those tapes be made available to the Grand Jury, and that all other evidence be presented as well. I am concerned that secrecy so far--for example, the names of officers involved have not been released--bodes badly for transparency in this case as it moves forward. Nor am I aware of any public statements about the case from elected officials calling for openness.
Members of Mr. Chamberlain’s family and community--and a much wider circle of people who need to know there is fairness in the criminal justice system--seek reassurance that, no matter what the verdict, the process has been open, honest, and just.
We, the undersigned, implore Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore to no longer allow police misconduct, brutality, or criminality to happen in this community and ask that these officers be indicted and charged with murder and civil rights violations.