The FBI is investigating the case of a young man who was shot while handcuffed, the Root reports. Police said 21-year-old Chavis Carter shot himself in the head while handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser in Jonesboro, Ark., but Carter’s family says it’s impossible that he pulled the trigger on himself.
Chavis Carter was detained on a Saturday night following a traffic stop. Officers found $10 worth of marijuana in his car and searched Carter twice before double handcuffing him and placing him in the back of the police car. Shortly after he was cuffed, Carter was found dead from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head.
Police said Carter used a concealed gun to shot himself, and that it was a “clear case of suicide.”
Kim Brunell, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s office in Little Rock said they have been asked to get involved. The FBI’s ballistics experts will also be joining the probe.
Sgt. Lyle Waterworth of the Jonesboro police said,
“Any given officer has missed something on a search, you know, be it drugs, be it knives, be it razor blades. This instance, it happened to be a gun.”
Teresa Carter, Chavis Carter’s mother, told reporters she believes the police are trying to cover up the fact that they killed her son. Carter said her son was left-handed, but suffered a wound to his right temple. She also said her son called his girlfriend and told her he would call again from jail.
Police Chief Michale Yates told HLN’s Jane Velez Mitchell Wednesday that Carter’s death is “definitely bizarre and defies logic at first glance.”
Yates also said,
“There’s no indication of any projectiles coming from outside the vehicle. We’ve reviewed the dashcam video and as late as today managed to have some witnesses come forward that observed the incident from start to finish. And their statements tend to support that whatever transpired in the back of that police car transpired in the back with the officers in a different location.”
Perry Jackson, president of the newly formed Jonesboro NAACP, said the group would be issuing an official statement shortly, but that they are planning to hold a candlelight vigil in Carter’s honor.
Several Justice for Chavis Carter Facebook pages and groups have sprung up since the July 29 shooting, with the most active being Justice for Chavis Carter: Investigate whether Police Committed Murder.
Do you think Chavis Carter committed suicide, or are the police trying to cover something up?