2012-03-29 13:13:49

Democracy Now! Thursday, March 29, 2012

As the Trayvon Martin case draws national attention, we look at another fatal shooting of an unarmed African-American male that has received far less scrutiny. Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr., a 68-year-old African-American Marine veteran, was fatally shot in November by White Plains, NY, police who responded to a false alarm from his medical alert pendant. The officers hurled racial slurs at Chamberlain, broke down his door, tasered him, and then shot him dead. We’re joined by Chamberlain’s son, Kenneth Chamberlain, Jr., and two of his attorneys. One of the attorneys, Mayo Bartlett, questions the police response to the shooting, comparing it to the official story that emerged after George Zimmerman shot the unarmed African-American teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, last month. "It’s very similar to Mr. Zimmerman suggesting that he had a bloody nose, and now you look at the video, and it doesn’t appear to be the case," says Bartlett. "That really makes you question what we’re being told sometimes by government with respect to these types of matters." Kenneth Chamberlain, Jr., struggles through tears to recount his father’s final moments, including the way police officers mocked his father’s past as a marine. "For them to look at my father that way, (with) no regard for his life, every morning I think about it," he says.

Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed, ousted in a coup last month, joins us in studio along with Jon Shenk, director of “The Island President,” a new documentary about Nasheed’s rise to power and his climate activism. The tiny Indian Ocean state of Maldives remains in a state of political turmoil seven weeks after Nasheed, the country’s first democratically elected president was ousted in what he has described as a coup at gunpoint. He had become an internationally recognized leader on climate issues, urging the world to do more to save small island states from rising sea waters. Nasheed criticizes the Obama administration’s quick recognition of the coup government, calling it "shocking and deeply disturbing." He also discusses his commitment to environmental activism, saying: "Climate change is a real issue and it is happening now. It’s not something in the future. We feel we have to advocate, that we have to try to get the message across that there has to be [an] international agreement on reducing carbon emissions."

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