An Open Letter: To the Relatives of 68-Year-Old Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.Killed by Police

Dear Kenneth Chamberlain Jr.,

I watched the interview you gave with Juan Gonzalez this morning regarding the case with your father. A 68 year old marine veteran that was shot in his home by police that were supposed to be responding to a medical alert call by a dispatcher for assistance. A man who as the audio tapes of the incident indicate had heart trouble and was a 68 year old man who wanted to be left alone. A man whose door was taken off the hinges by law enforcement and who ultimately, tragically wound up dead in his own home.

As I watched my heart broke into a thousand pieces and my soul felt your hurt and your pain.  To see you explaining the circumstances that surround what happened that morning, bravely providing details just broke my heart completely.  Waiting for a grand jury to convene in the hope that charges are brought, in the hope that enough evidence is presented to warrant charges.   To wait and HOPE that you actually GET a day in court – this is a level of bravery and strength that is indescribable with mere words.

To have served his country as a marine and to  have his life ended by law enforcement, people who were supposed to provide him with HELP – is too much for my soul to take without weeping  for you, your family and all the others who have been through and are going through this right now.

Rev. Jeffery (cq) Wheeler, left, speaks as Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. of White Plains holds a photo of his father, Kenneth Chamberlain, as a group prays in front of his father's apartment building on Lexington Ave. in White Plains Nov. 30, 2011. Chamberlain's father was shot and killed by police. ( Peter Carr / The Journal News )

The question is poised frequently, “Why is there so much of an uproar and why are so many marches and protests erupting in conjunction with the Trayvon Martin Case?”  The uproar is not newly hatched as the media spin would have people believe. Taking absolutely nothing away from the injustice that was visited upon the parents of Trayvon Martin, this kind of injustice is not NEW to the African American community.  It has happened and it CONTINUES to happen every single day all across this country. We just don’t get all of them  to make CNN or MSNBC news.   It happens so much that we CANT march all the time it happens, because if we did that is all we would do day in and day out. March seeking justice for our brothers and sisters, fathers mothers, and children.

The level of devaluation that black males have to endure in this country is epic. It is on a level of profundity that, is unbearable to contemplate.  What more can a man do, besides serve his country and put his life on the line – what more can you do to show your love for this country and commitment to the principles of liberty and justice for all? What is it that you have to do to prevent getting your door kicked in, shot with a taser, and ultimately killed by police officers in your own home?

I cannot begin to conceive of the hurt in your heart and how you are finding ways to cope with it. I truly and honestly can say that my deepest and heartfelt prayers are with you and your family, and all the attorneys working with you to try to obtain the TRUTH and JUSTICE in this case. There are no marches in White Plains, haven’t seen anyone tweeting about this case, and the media has yet to deem it important enough to report on.  Please know that someone does care and stands with you in the belief that justice must be and will be served in this case.

Tonight and all the nights going forward, I’m lighting a candle for all the Kenneth Chamberlain’s, Trayvon Martin’s, Sean Bell’s and those  whose  names didn’t make it to the evening news, but who’s families have had to deal with a level of injustice that is so inconceivable that trying to rationalize it hurts in the deepest places in your soul.  I will light a candle because of what it symbolizes, light in the midst of darkness. A point of focus until the morning when the sun comes and brings light to a new day along with the Joy that is so often spoken of.

I will light it and remember and pray  for your strength and the strength of all who have  had to deal with the injustice that is pervasive in this country based on nothing more than racist ignorance….and I will continue to do so…

Until justice is served, until we actually are FREE

NOTE: Join the Facebook page Justice For Kenneth Chamberlain Sr..