Who Killed Chavis Carter in the Backseat of a Cop Car?
Chavis Carter, a 21-year-old black male, was sitting in the backseat of a police car, hands clasped by double-locked handcuffs in Jonesboro, AR., when suddenly he was dead from a single gunshot to the head. On July 28th, he was stopped by police when he was caught on the road in possession of $10 worth of marijuana and empty baggies. After being arrested by officers Ron Marsh and Keith Baggett, before they even made it to the station, on the car ride there, Carter was seen slouched over his lap with blood dripping all over his clothes and some of it on the seat from the visible fatal wound. The FBI declared on Thursday it would investigate further into the death of Carter because the circumstances do not add up as to how he died. The police are saying it was suicide, but where did the gun come from, especially since he was searched by them twice beforehand and then hand-cuffed? Could Chavis Carter have been that multidextrous? As we’ve seen in the movies, under desperation, one can do amazing things even if restricted, but this is real life, and why would Carter kill himself? Just as importantly, where did the gun come from? Carter’s mother, Teresa, otherwise believes it was the police themselves that pulled the trigger, and are now left blindsided by the FBI’s involvement, hence the suicide accusation and the possibility that Chavis had it hidden where they couldn’t detect it. Kim Brunell, a spokeswoman for the Little Rock branch of the FBI said, “We’ve been asked to get involved.” Following the absurd incident, and months after the controversy of Travyon Martin’s death, opposing sides are now left to wonder how this could have happened, especially if all procedures had taken place during his arrest. “Any given officer has missed something on a search, you know, be it drugs, be it knives, be it razor blades. This instance, it happened to be a gun” claimed Sgt. Lyle Waterworth, in defense of the police in the car that night in Jonesboro. Waterworth’s comrades are insisting that Carter obtained a gun he already had and shot himself to their shock. While Chief Michale Yates has admitted to seeing remarkable occurrences of defeat done by those in handcuffs, he still contradicts Waterworth in acknowledging that the case was “definitely bizarre and defies logic at first glance”. One piece of logic that’s certainly being challenged is that Carter was shot in his right temple. Teresa knows that her son was left-handed. Officers Marsh and Baggett are currently on paid “administrative duties” leave, the NAACP is planning a candlelight vigil for Carter on Monday, and there are two Facebook pages in honor of Carter, with many condolences and comments of outrage and bewilderment. In the coming weeks, the tragedy that has taken Carter’s life may turn out be another run-around emotional debacle of racial profiling, only this time with the uncomfortable addendum of the mysterious appearance of a gun in which bullets from this malevolent item trail-blazed it’s way to Carter’s head, but of who’s hand was guiding the bullets leaves this case a baffling calamity. The police report can be online at: http://thegrio.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/jonesboro-police-report-chavis-carter1.pdf and below is a video from CNN with footage from the scene of the crime, and Carter’s mother Teresa: