KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, THE
(director/writer:David Midell ; cinematographer: Camrin Petramale; editor: Enrico Natale; music: King Luck/; cast: Frankie Faison(Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.), Steve O’Connell (Sgt. Parks), Enrico Natale (Officer Rossi), Ben Marten (Officer Jackson), Angela Peel (Tanya Greenhill), Tom McElroy (Sgt. Flannigan), Anika Noni Rose (Candace Wade); Runtime: 83; MPAA Rating: NR; producers; David Midell/Enrico Natale:Redbird Entertainment/Gravitas Ventures; 2020)
“Though the film was stagey, it’s well-acted and essential viewing for our divisive times.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
David Midell (“Nightlights”) is the director-writer of this fatal racial incident, based on a true story, that took place ten years ago in White Plains, New York, and has still not been resolved. It is incidents such as this one that arouse the public with anger against the police and bring out activists calling for police reform and the not too sensible protesters wanting to defund the police.
On November 19, 2011, A 68-year-old Black man named Kenneth Chamberlain, a Marine Corps veteran with medical issues, was dead after police were called by mistake to look in on him to see how he was doing when the Marine’s LifeAid alert accidentally went off at 5:22 am. when he was asleep. Because the LifeAid worker got no response, she reached out to emergency workers for a wellness check.
Thereby three police officers arrive and knock on Chamberlain’s door. The knocking gets him out of bed, and he asks the cops to leave because they’re not needed. But the cops refuse to leave, even after the LifeAid worker confirms that the call was accidental and calls off the request. Instead the cops knock down his door and tase him, and if that’s not enough decide to shoot the man even if he offers no threat to them. Though in their report the cops lie and say he was coming at them with a knife. There was a cover-up, as the reports were falsified, and no action was taken against the cops.
Chamberlain’s family called it a hate crime. But the D.A. said the officers acted properly.
Frankie Faison gives a believable and sympathetic performance as the victim. The three cops (whose real names were not used) give bold performances, with the rookie officer (Enrico Natale) failing to convince his unhinged superior officers (Steve O’Connell & Ben Marten) to let things go.
Though the film was stagey, it’s well-acted and essential viewing for our divisive times.
REVIEWED ON 9/27/2021 GRADE: B