The Westchester Coalition Of Police Reform which was formed five years ago after the killing of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr hosted a Dance For Justice Fundraiser at the Slater Center, Friday night to raise money for the organization. The WCPR applied and were awarded a $10,000 grant, but the stipulation for the grant was the organization had to come up with $5,000 so they decided to best way to raise the funds to do the work they need to do (holding Know You Rights Forums, having panel discussion and training individuals that are part of the coalition, etc).
While Kenneth Chamberlain Jr, the co-founder of the WCPR arrived he notice a White Plains Police Car parked. When he entered the building he saw two officers, one being Maurice Love a black officer that was involved in the killing of his father, who Chamberlain Sr. can be heard on audio asking “Black Officer why are you doing this?”
Despite the officer’s presence, the event was successful, well attended and the goal was met. But while Chamberlain Jr., somehow still manages to stay positive and keeps his eyes on the prize and is all about doing the work, Black Westchester Magazine thinks this is an egregious action of behalf of the WPPD and the city of White Plains.
Witnesses tell BW that the officer in question said they routinely check on an event at the Slater Center But Slater Center employees tell us that is not true, and in fact, there was an event last week, where the presence of police would have been helpful but the WPPD was not there at all.
While it is not certain on whose authority the officer was present, to send the police officer who was involved in the summary execution of marine veteran and retired Westchester County Correction Officer Kenneth Chamberlain Sr, to a fundraiser for an organization that his son Kenneth Chamberlain Jr is pretty much the face of, is very disrespectful at the least and can be looked upon by Chamberlain Jr and the WCPR as a form of intimidation. We want to know was the officer sent to the event or did he take it upon himself to just show his face to add insult to injury.
“Institutionalized black cops are worse than racist white cops, because they should know the struggle of their birth community, but instead they institutional pawns of a system that has been racist to our people from the beginning,” Damon K. Jones, NY Representative of Blacks In Law Enforcement of America and one of the co-founders of WCPR.
Is it your position to try to intimate the coalition and Chamberlain Jr, by sending this particular officer to work and cover the Dance For Justice, if so why. BW feels White Plains Mayor Tom Roach and the police management owe Mr. Chamberlain and the WCPR an apology and we will be reaching out to them in the coming days for answers.
Chamberlain, Jr expressed his disappointment in a Facebook Live video (below).
Saturday morning Kenneth Chamberlain Jr sent the following statement to Black Westchester
I want to take a moment to say thank you to all of you who contributed to helping the Westchester Coalition for Police Reform in reaching its goal of raising $5,000.00 at our first Dance for Justice.
However the level of disrespect the City of White Plains Police Department displayed by sending a Police Officer involved in the shooting death of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. is very disturbing and only continues to create division rather than build a trusting relationship between law enforcement and the community.
This form of schoolyard bullying further proves that race and class play a significant role in how this Police Department treats certain members of this city which is done through force, threat, coercion to abuse, intimidate or dominate and this city should be ashamed of the behavior this department displayed and the fact its elected officials continue to turn a blind eye to their behavior.
Positive relationships with all communities are vital to building trust between law enforcement communities and the actions of this department further prove that the relationship between police and minority communities are in need of serious repair.
Two wrongs don’t make a right but the Westchester Coalition for Police Reform will not let this stop us and we will continue our work in building trust and bridging the gap between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
The White Plains Police Department and Mayor Roach have said on several occasion that they are constantly working toward better police-community relations. Sending an officer involved in the killing of Chamberlain to this fundraiser is this what you had in mind! If so you are failing and action such as this further the division. Black Westchester will be watching, because this is a slap in the face to the black community, to all victims who have lost loved ones in police shootings and all those who work hard to truly building better police-community relations and fight for justice. I repeat even if you say it was some sort of oversight, that officer knew and we feel the coalition and Chamberlain Jr deserve an apology. If not you do have an election coming up and we will be covering that much more closely!
AJ is a Father, Author, Writer, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
You can also hear AJ every Thursday morning at 7:20 A.M. on Good Morning Westchester with host Bob Marrone on WVOX