MAYO BARTLETT: Well, the police arrived. They immediately—first, they properly asked him, Mr. Chamberlain, whether he was all right. He said, "I’m fine." And at that point, he seemed to be very rational and calm. And they asked him to open the door. He said, "I don’t want to open the door. I didn’t call you. But I’m fine. Everything’s OK." And the police refused to leave at that point. They began banging on the door. And it’s a steel door, so you can hear a very loud sound. The first time we heard the banging, it startles you. It almost makes you wonder whether shots are being fired at that point. And this is at 5:00 in the morning, and it’s a 68-year-old man, who didn’t call them and wasn’t expecting them to be there, because this—
AMY GOODMAN: But who has a heart condition.
MAYO BARTLETT: And who has a heart condition. And at that point, the taser video actually shows them outside. They use a device to actually pry that door off of its hinges. First they break a lock, and the doors open what appears to be five or six inches, so it’s cracked open. And by the time they finally are able to take that door off its hinges, after about an hour of continuous effort to do so, the door is taken off.
You see, through the—basically, the vantage point of the taser, Mr. Chamberlain with no shirt on, with boxer shorts on, with both arms at his side, standing straight up. He doesn’t say anything. He is not advancing toward the officers. And the officers don’t say anything to him. They don’t give him an opportunity to do anything. They don’t tell him or ask him to put his hands up on the wall or to put his hands behind his head. They don’t ask him to do anything. They immediately charge that taser, and you can see it light up, and then they discharge it in his direction. And that has to be outside of the use of protocol or the protocol for the use of force, which generally is a use of force escalation.
AMY GOODMAN: But then you hear something in—
JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, but not only that, but there’s the issue of why—if you know that you’re going to see someone who has a heart condition, why would you fire a taser at them?
MAYO BARTLETT: I would definitely wonder why you would do that. I would think that there’s certainly less deadly uses of force. But I think, at that point, when he’s standing there with his arms at his side and the boxer shorts and no shirt on, 68-year-old man, there’s no need for use of force at all.
AMY GOODMAN: Then talk about what you hear on the taser video.
MAYO BARTLETT: Well, on that taser—well, you can see on the video, you see them, and you see Mr. Chamberlain standing what appears to be possibly eight, maybe even 10, feet away from them. And you can hear them—someone says, "Cut it. Cut it off." And at that point, we believe that that means that they’re aware that they are recording their actions. And at that point, the video and audio feed from the taser end.
But Chamberlain's LifeAid device was still recording.
One of the things you hear is he’s telling the officers, repeatedly, "I’m OK. I didn’t call you. Why are you doing this to me? Please leave me alone." The officers are telling him pretty much no, that they want to get inside. He’s saying, "I’m a 68-year-old man with a heart condition. I know what you’re going to do. You’re going to come in here, and you’re going to kill me." You hear at one point one of the officers say, "Why would you think that? We’re not going to do that." But he said, "Yes, you are. You have your guns out. Why do you have your guns out? Oh, you have a shield." Now, I’m thinking to myself—
AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean, the shield?
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, JR.: A ballistic shield.
AMY GOODMAN: A full-body ballistic shield.
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, JR.: A full-body shield, yes. So, you hear that. And I’ll even go so far as to say that you even hear on there my father is referring to a black police officer that’s there, too, and he says, "Black officer, why are you letting them do this to me?" So these are some of the things that you hear in the audio. And again, you hear him give his sworn testimony on the audio.
AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean?
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, JR.: He says, "My name is Kenneth Chamberlain, and this is my sworn testimony. White Plains police officers are going to come in here and kill me."
JUAN GONZALEZ: Now—and, of course, we discussed, as well, that the use of a racial epithet at the time also is caught on tape.
KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, JR.: Yes, yes. When he asked them why are they doing this, "Please don’t do this to me. Why are you doing this?" one of the officers say, "I don’t give a F," and then use the N-word and says, "Open the door." So, I was very clear in the beginning, when all of this happened, that I wasn’t trying to turn this into any type of racially motivated killing, until we heard the audio. Then, and only then, did I bring that up and say, OK,