Suicide? Autopsy says 21-year-old shot himself in the head with hands cuffed in police car
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Suicide? Autopsy says 21-year-old shot himself in the head with hands cuffed in police car

Jonesboro : AR : USA | Aug 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM PDT
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How did Chavis Carter really die?

Twenty-one year old Chavis Carter's death has now been officially ruled a suicide after weeks of protests and questions over his suspicious death.

Carter died on July 28, in Jonesboro, Ark., from a fatal gunshot wound to the head while handcuffed with his hands behind his back in a police car.

The outcry was loud and swift from Carter's family, residents of the community and beyond, as well as many experts, who say it is impossible for the young Carter to have killed himself restrained as he was in the back of a cop car.

Dash cams did not show the tragic incident, for the squad car was supposedly parked in a position which made recording what exactly happened impossible. Moreover, all the police officers involved were allegedly outside and away from the car, and no windows were broken or rolled down.

Benjamin Irwin, lawyer for the family, stated that the police cameras conveniently didn't record the shooting but recorded everything else. The police video released appeared to have been doctored, critics accused.

Moreover, Carter's mother, Teresa Carter, reportedly said her son was left-handed but he was shot in the right temple.

Where did the gun come from? Police claimed they had patted Carter down twice before handcuffing him and placing him in the back of their car. Apparently they had searched him thoroughly, for they allegedly found a small bit of marijuana on him but no .380 caliber cobra semi-automatic, the gun he supposedly used to kill himself. Wouldn't the gun be a bigger bulge, thus easier to detect than a small bag of marijuana?

He and two friends were stopped and Carter arrested, while the friends were free to go, austensibly because he had an outstanding arrest warrant.

His family swears Carter wasn't suicidal and claimed he had called his girlfriend earlier to come pick him up. The exact time of that call in relation to his death wasn't given. How did he call his girlfriend to come pick him up at the jail if he was handcuffed?

Police also released a video demonstrating how it was possible for Carter to have shot himself despite his hands being handcuffed behind his back.

But what does that really prove? Nothing, say some experts, for even though the officer in the video could maneurver his hands in the handcuffs, it doesn't prove that Carter could or did. Short of the actual police cam showing what happened, there are still many more queations than answers.

The autospy reportedly stated that three independent findings allegedly show that the young man took his own life. What is the proof? Was there gun powder residue on his hands? The released autopsy doesn't deal with this extremely important evidence.

If he was left-handed, why did he shoot himself in the right temple? How did he maneuver his right hand, which would be very awkward because it was not his customary hand to use, into picking up a gun hidden somewhere Houdini would not have been able to get to? And how did he do it allwith his hands cuffed behind his back, shooting himself dead through the opposite side of the head?

The FBI is reportedly looking into the case.

Read more here:

Autopsy: Death of handcuffed man in Ark. ruled a suicide

Police Release Altered Video in Chavis Carter Squad Car Shooting Case

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Questions abound over the death of Chavis Carter. Police say he killed himself while cuffed in a squad car.
VeronicaS is based in New York City, New York, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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  • Police: Friend said cuffed man had gun

    Chavis Carter, 21, died July 28 while in the back of a Jonesboro Police Department car from a close-range gunshot. On Wednesday, police issued a news release, saying that because of the unusual nature of his death, they were going to release some...
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