Appeal filed in fatal Westchester police shooting of 68-year-old ex-Marine
Lawyers for a White Plains man who cops fatally shot have filed a new appeal after a jury rejected their lawsuit.
Randolph McLaughlin and Debra Cohen claim U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel improperly blocked evidence from the jury that would have resulted in a different outcome in the case of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.
Chamberlain, a 68-year-old former Marine, was killed in his apartment on Nov. 19, 2011, by White Plains police who were responding to reports of a disturbance.
In November, a federal court jury court cleared Officer Anthony Carelli and the city of White Plains of any responsibility for Chamberlain’s death.
Carelli claimed Chamberlain lunged at him with a knife.
The appeal was filed with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
McLaughlin and Cohen argue that if the jury had been allowed to learn several key facts, it would have seen the case differently.
“By the time the jury got this case, it had been virtually castrated by the legal system,” Cohen said.
Siebel did let not the jury hear a claim of illegal entry against the cops, even though a recording shows he opened the door for police and told them he was fine and didn’t need help, the lawyers argue.
The appeal claims the cops ignored him and riled him up, which they then used as justification to force their way in — guns drawn.
“We believe a jury should decide whether the police forced entry into Mr. Chamberlain’s apartment was reasonable,” McLaughlin said.
The lawyers also object to Siebel’s decision to dismiss an excessive force claim against Sgt. Keith Martin, a patrol supervisor who shot Chamberlain four times with beanbag rounds from a shotgun before Carelli fired the fatal bullet.
“During discovery, we learned that each projectile struck Mr. Chamberlain with a force greater than a Mike Tyson punch and that he, not surprisingly, was brought to the ground from the impact,” Cohen said.
“We believe that if a jury hears all the evidence about the use of the beanbag shotgun, and Mr. Chamberlain's poor physical condition, they will find the use of force to have been excessive and unjustified.”
A call to Carelli’s lawyer was not immediately returned.