By DAN MANGAN
Post Wire Services
Last Updated: 5:03 AM, May 4, 2012
Posted: 12:43 AM, May 4, 2012
A grand jury has found that a White Plains police officer committed no crime when he fatally shot an elderly former Marine after an emotional standoff at the man’s apartment, authorities said yesterday.
The family of the slain man, 68-year-old Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., promptly said they would ask federal authorities to open a probe of the racially charged case.
“I have to question what evidence was presented to the grand jury . . . No indictment sends a very strong message to the people of Westchester County regarding police misconduct, brutality and criminality,” said Chamberlain’s son, Kenneth Jr., who had hoped for a murder charge against the cop who shot his dad.
Cops have said Chamberlain Sr., who was black, came at them with a hatchet and a knife last Nov. 19 before he was shot in his apartment by a white police officer, Anthony Carelli, after almost two hours of negotiations.
They have also said that Chamberlain, who refused to let cops into his apartment so they could check on him after his medical alert tag had gone off, was emotionally disturbed.
A grand jury began hearing evidence in the case last month and finished its work Wednesday.
The 23-member panel heard from 42 witnesses — including Carelli and two other cops who had fired a Taser and bean bags at Chamberlain. The grand jurors also reviewed audio and video recordings of the confrontation.
“After due deliberation … the grand jury found that there was no reasonable cause to vote an indictment,” said Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore, who called the shooting a “tragedy on many levels.”
The DA said one cop had used a racial epithet while standing outside the building to try to distract Chamberlain from officers who were inside the building.
She said use of that epithet is “intolerable,” but not criminal.