The Jonesboro Police Department is not only sticking to its theory that 21-year-old Chavis Carter shot himself in the head while handcuffed in the back of a squad car; they have released a reconstructed video proving the probability of it, CBS News reports.
As NewsOne previously reported, Carter died from a gunshot wound to the head after being arrested by Jonesboro police on July 29. The department claims that he took his own life while in police custody.
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Police released the video on Tuesday where a man depicts a handcuffed suspect being placed into the back of a police vehicle. The actor then struggles with the handcuffs and positions his arms in such a that he is able to pull out a gun from behind himself and point it directly into his temple with his finger on the trigger.
“We just wanted to get a good perspective on how it could be done and the ease with which it could be done,” said Jonesboro Police Chief Michael Yates.
Responding to how Carter could have had a gun on him after being searched twice, Yates said that he could have hidden the weapon in the police car after being searched. Officers claim Carter wasn’t handcuffed until they decided to arrest him. He was searched again after being arrested. A weapon was not found during the second search.
“It’s obvious they did miss the weapon on the first search. 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,” Yates said. “The second search, which was more thorough and inclusive, did not disclose the weapon either.”
But why would a 21-year-old teen who, according to his mother, was not suicidal, kill himself over a $10 bag of weed?
Russell Marlin, a Memphis, Tenn.-based attorney representing Carter’s family, is conducting his own investigation and will not give his own assessment at this point. But he is skeptical about the suicide theory.
“By all accounts, he was a healthy, happy guy. There’s no reason to think he would have killed himself,” Martin said.
Police are refusing to release audio and video from the night Cater died, citing the ongoing investigation.
Scott Ellington, District Prosecuting Attorney for Arkansas’ Second Judicial District, says that he determining whether to press charges against the officers involved in Carter’s arrest. He is not expected to rule on his decision this week.