Arkansas police are under fire for the mysterious death of Chavis Carter while in police custody late last month and could explode into a national controversy — even the local police chief said the theory of suicide “defies logic at first glance.”… So could this be the next Trayvon Martin Case??? More details below……….
The police in Jonesboro, Ark. believe Carter, 21, killed himself on July 29 with a single gunshot to the temple while inside the back of a police car — but his hands were double handcuffed behind his back and the officers had twice searched him for contraband, finding only about $10 worth of marijuana.
According to the NYdaily:
Carter’s family members, activists and the NAACP aren’t so sure about that and some community leaders fear the case could prove as searing as the killing in Florida of unarmed, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watchman.
A “Justice for Chavis Carter” page has already popped up on Facebook, where it asks authorities to “investigate whether police committed murder” by staging a “seemingly impossible suicide.”
“I think they killed him,” Teresa Carter mother of Chavis, told WREG-TV in Memphis. Noting her son, who was left-handed, and was shot in the right temple, she added, “My son was not suicidal.”
The FBI is monitoring the police investigation and will perform ballistics tests on the .380-caliber, cobra semi-automatic handgun found near his body; it had been reported stolen in Jonesboro a month before.
Carter, who lived in Mississippi, and two other men had been stopped in a suspicious pick-up truck that was observed driving without headlights at 10 p.m., police said.
Officers Keith Baggett and Ron Marsh frisked Carter and found him to be in possession of the small amount of marijuana and several small plastic bags that are generally used to package and sell drugs.
Carter initially gave police a fake name — Laryan Bowman — but he carried his real identification with him. When the officers discovered that, and ran his name through their computer, they discovered he had an outstanding arrest warrant for violating probation on a 2011 drug case.
Carter was arrested, searched a second time and placed in handcuffs in the back of a patrol car.
It was at that point, as officers interviewed and released the two other men, that Carter, his hands still cuffed behind his back, fired the fatal shot, police say.
Yates said a dashboard-camera video and accounts from unnamed witnesses “tend to support” Baggett and Marsh’s account. The two officers were placed on paid administrative leave, pending results of the probe.
“Any given officer has missed something on a search … be it drugs, knives or razor blades,” Jonesboro Police Department Sgt. Lyle Waterworth told WREG-TV. “In this instance, it happened to be a gun.”
However, pending investigative results, Baggett and Marsh were place on paid administrative leave.