The Estate of Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr. filed suit against officers of the White Plains Police Department and the City of White Plains under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging claims for unlawful entry and excessive force resulting in Chamberlain’s death. Chamberlain, a 68-year-old African American Marine veteran with mental illness, had accidentally activated his emergency medical-alert system. When the officers arrived at Chamberlain’s apartment, he denied the officers entry, fearing that he would be shot by the armed officers. After an hour-long struggle to gain entry into the apartment, the officers removed the hinges to the apartment’s door, crossed the threshold into the apartment, and, when lesser measures apparently failed to subdue Chamberlain, they fatally shot him. The Second Circuit principally held that the complaint and related materials properly considered by the district court upon the motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim do state a plausible claim for unlawful entry and that it was also error to determine on such a motion to dismiss that officers were entitled to qualified immunity. Accordingly, the court vacated that portion of the district court’s judgment and remanded for further proceedings. The court also vacated and remanded for further consideration portions of the judgment determining, on summary judgment, that an officer was not liable for use of excessive force and that certain officers did not have supervisory liability. The court affirmed in all other respects.
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