August 2, 2012
The circumstances surrounding the mysterious death of Chavis Carter have left a few unanswered questions:
- How does a handcuffed man that’s been searched twice still manage to shoot himself in the head?
- How convenient is it that a suspect is killed in the only place that isn’t being monitored by a camera?
Carter was picked up in Jonesboro, Arkansas for possession of drugs and for failure to appear in court charges. Minutes later he was dead in back of a squad car after officers allegedly heard a “thumping” noise from the backseat.
According to Sergeant Lyle Waterworth, Carter was “handcuffed behind his back and double locked, and searched.” However, according to cops Carter still managed to grab a gun he had either found or had hidden and shoot himself.
Waterworth throws his weight behind his officers saying he believes it’s easy for a cop to miss something like a gun in searches: “Any given officer has missed something on a search, be it drugs, knife, razor blades, this instance it happened to be a gun.”
WREG also reported that police “haven’t ruled out the possibility that someone else may have shot Chavis Carter.”
Meanwhile, the community is struggling to keep the news from enraging citizens.
Rev. Adrian Rodgers, Pastor at the Fullness of Joy church, expressed his disappointment at the lack of information being produced. At a press conference Wednesday he said, “This is strange, and it certainly demands further investigation and explanation…It’s not just a black thing. A human being died in the back seat of a police car while handcuffed.”
Jonesboro Police Chief Michael Yates told Region 8 news that he was unable to release anything until he receives the preliminary autopsy report.
Also curious is that KAIT8 published a headline which insinuates Carter’s death was in fact a suicide: “Community Members Ask For Calm in Wake of Suicide in Patrol Car.”
To his mother, Teresa Carter, there’s no mystery behind his death. She told WREG, “I think they killed him, my son wasn’t suicidal.” She has also stated that she was told her son was shot in his right temple.
The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave while we await autopsy and investigation results.