Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Police Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr.

Autopsy Rips Holes in Police Story

Kenneth Chamberlain.
Kenneth Chamberlain.
The Chamberlain family's position was bolstered with the release of a 14-page autopsy report from the Westchester Medical Examiner's Office. Dr. Kunjlata Ashar prepared the report. In it, he wrote, "The path of the bullet through Mr. Chamberlain's arm and into his lungs tells me that his arm had to be by his side and not raised in a motion consistent with trying to stab someone."

Chamberlain Jr. commented, "I'm glad the autopsy is out, and shows that my father's hands were at his sides. It absolutely shows that my father wasn't the aggressor and that deadly force was not necessary."

Randolph McLaughlin, another attorney representing the Chamberlain family, noted that the report "contradicts the police version all together. It shows that he was a threat to no one. There's no excuse for what happened."

The autopsy report also showed that Chamberlain Sr. was legally drunk at the time he was shot. However, McLaughlin pointed out that the .11 percent blood alcohol was just over the legal limit to drive. His intoxication may not even be relevant since he was not driving but at home when killed.

The autopsy also reported, "No drugs of abuse were detected."

The Chamberlain killing was discussed at a "National Hoodie Day" rally held in front of the Westchester County Courthouse on April 10, 2012. The White Plains-Greenburgh chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held this rally as part of a nationwide effort to demand justice for Trayvon Martin and other blacks believed to be victims of racial profiling. The rallies have "Hoodie" in the title because Martin was wearing a hoodie when he was killed.

At the rally, White Plains-Greenburgh NAACP President Lena Anderson declared that those gathered were there "for National Hoodie Day . . . as a statement of outrage with regard to the Trayvon Martin case." She also stated, "We will not let Ken Chamberlain's death go unaccounted for."

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