Morgan Freeman on police brutality central to ‘The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain,’ accountability

Watching “The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain,” audiences will feel as though they’re watching the tragedy in real time — an all-too-common event these days.

David Midell’s screen retelling of the 2011 middle of the night police killing of 68-year-old former Marine Kenneth Chamberlain, played by Frankie Faison, in his White Plains apartment, after he inadvertently set off his medical-alert device.

Frankie Faison as Marine veteran Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. in “The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain.”

Frankie Faison as Marine veteran Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. in “The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain.” (Gravitas Ventures/)

“What stands out eventually is how unnecessary that entire situation was,” Morgan Freeman, who co-executive produced the film, told the Daily News this week on a call with Kenneth Chamberlain Jr.

“This is a domestic situation, not robbers, not [a] killing, there’s no criminality involved here at all,” continued the “Shawshank Redemption” star, 84. “Somebody set off his Life Alert system, go check it out. So they get there to check it out and the person says that it’s OK, it was a mistake. They had already been told that also by a dispatcher, OK? They canceled that call. So why continue? Why did they continue?”

Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. is seen as a young man.

Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. is seen as a young man.

Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. is seen as a young man. (Courtesy of Chamberlain Family/)

The film is currently in theaters and available on demand. Much of its script, said the younger Chamberlain, who has control over his father’s estate, came from the medical alert device’s recording, which he wasn’t allowed to hear until 2012.

“Everything that we gave [writer-director] David Midell … is available through Freedom of Information. We didn’t give him anything that was confidential or marked confidential because we’re still in pending litigations,” he explained to The News.

Since he first heard that recording, Chamberlain said, “I have challenged people from 2012 to now, to listen to that audio and tell me that you do not hear misconduct to murder.”

Morgan Freeman attends a photo call for "Angel Has Fallen" at the Four Seasons Hotel on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Los Angeles.

Morgan Freeman attends a photo call for “Angel Has Fallen” at the Four Seasons Hotel on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Los Angeles.

Morgan Freeman attends a photo call for “Angel Has Fallen” at the Four Seasons Hotel on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Richard Shotwell/)

The device being set off triggers the dispatch of three White Plains officers, which eventually leads to more cops, chaos, racial epithets and the fatal shooting of a man who had repeatedly pleaded with them to just let him go to sleep. He was fine, alive, and just needed sleep, he insisted.

None of the parties involved — even the officer who, in the film, is portrayed as compassionate as he encourages his superiors to leave Chamberlain be — have apologized to the late veteran’s family.

“That would be an admission of guilt,” said Chamberlain. “So, they’re certainly not gonna do that. Not to mention it took over six months before the city of White Plains even acknowledged my family or gave us any condolences.”

The virtually real-time retelling of his father’s last hours premiered at the Austin Film Festival in 2019, just months before the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, as well as the slaying in broad daylight of Ahmaud Arbery.

Kenneth Chamberlain Jr.

Kenneth Chamberlain Jr.

Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. (Courtesy of Chamberlain Family/)

Reactions to the film, says Chamberlain, were as visceral two years ago as they are now.

“It’s this rollercoaster of emotions that people are on. People are crying, people are angry,” he said. “I watched some people in the movie theater and I literally saw people holding onto their seat real tight. There was another woman that was over on the side, I looked at her and she kept … putting her hands up [in front of her face].”

Ultimately, he hopes the film is a “teaching tool of what not to do.”

“There’s no such thing in this situation as justice for Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. But there should be accountability,” said Oscar winner Freeman. “ Accountability becomes a real subject matter here. How can all these policemen be there and nobody to lift a finger, to prevent this tragedy, you know? And it’s a tragedy not only for the Chamberlain family, it’s a tragedy for the policeman who did it — just wondering how that’s gonna play out in his life.”

Many Thanks To The following Website For This Valuable Content.
Morgan Freeman on police brutality central to ‘The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain,’ accountability