By Steve Elliott ~alapoet~ in News
Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 7:47 pm
|Chavis Carter was only 21 when he died of a gunshot wound while handcuffed in the back of a police patrol car|
Police in Jonesboro, Arkansas, are claiming the death of a man they detained on marijuana charges in the back of a squad car was the result of shooting himself in the head while his hands were cuffed behind his back.
The officers claim that Chavis Carter, 21, killed himself after being searched on suspicion of possessing marijuana, reports Steve Watson of Infowars.com. Officers had double-locked the handcuffs to make it harder for the lock to be picked, but they claimed Carter was somehow miraculously able to pull out a hidden gun, raise it to his head and pull the trigger while they were briefly away from the car.
The cops claimed they found a .380 handgun and a spent cartridge in the back seat next to Carter's slumped body. They claimed the gun "must have been overlooked" when they searched Carter -- twice.
Incredibly, police created and released a video reenactment of their flimsy version of events. The video depicts several cops of various heights and builds being cuffed, then still being abloe to raised a concealed gun replica to their heads.
|Community activists in Jonesboro, Ark., protest the death of Chavis Carter|
The video is described as a "non-evidentiary reproduction of facts and circumstances associated with the pending investigation of the Chavis Carter in-custody death."
The message claims that the reenacted scenes were meant to investigate "the possibility that an individual, hand-cuffed behind his back, may or may not have the ability to use a concealed firearm in a manner that would give rise to his or her death."
"The circumstances displayed are not intended to illustrate the only means by which an individual could injure themselves but merely to determine the feasibility of these actions," the video claims.
"The investigation is active and awaits forensic and other investigative material that will be used to complete a full inquiry into this matter," the message concludes.
"The fact of it is, it's very possible and quite easy," claimed Police Chief Michael Yates, responding to CNN reporter Randi Kaye's query on whether anyone could actually shoot themselves in the head while handcuffed.
"It's obvious they did miss the weapon on the first search," Yates said about the mysterious gun. "It is likely since he was placed into the car unhandcuffed the first time, that he had an opportunity to stash the weapon in the car.
"The second search, which was more thorough and inclusive, did not disclose the weapon either," the police chief implausibly claimed.
Local activists are calling for Chief Yates's resignation, pointing to racially motivated conflicts with black residents in the past.
According to the Jonesboro Sun, only three of the 145-member police force under Yates are black.
"I think they killed him; my son wasn't suicidal," said Carter's mother, Teresa Carter. She noted that Chavis was shot in the right temple -- and he was left-handed.
Carter also said Chavis called his girlfriend while pulled over, and assured her he would be back in contact when he got to jail.
"By all accounts, he was a healthy, happy guy," said Russell Marlin, a Memphis attorney representing the Carter family, reports the AP. "There's no reason to think he would have killed himself."
The officers involved in the incident are on paid leave pending an investigation.