The new Trayvon Martin? Police say man committed suicide while cuffed behind his back
Dr. Boyce Watkins
In a case that some say could be the next Trayvon Martin, more and more observers are becoming concerned about the alleged “suicide” of Chavis Carter. Carter is a man that police alleged to have shot himself in the head in the back of a police car. Even the police chief of the town where Chavis died says that the case “defies logic at first glance.”
The 21-year-old native of Jonesboro, Arkansas died from a single gunshot wound to the temple while handcuffed inside the back of a police car. Police had searched him, only to find $10 worth of marijuana.
“Definitely bizarre,” Jonesboro Police Chief Michael Yates said.
But in spite of his concerns about the case, Yates claims that the evidence supports the officers who made the arrest. But his version of the facts are being disputed by the victim’s family and the NAACP. Also, community leaders are com-paring this case to that of Tray-von Martin.
A “Justice for Chavis Carter” Facebook page has been set up, where they are asking that the FBI “investigate whether police committed murder.”
“I think they killed him,” said Teresa Carter, the young man’s mother. She noted that her son is left-handed, so it doesn’t make sense that he would shoot him-self in the right temple. She also said that he was not suicidal.
Carter had been stopped in a pick-up truck that was driving without headlights around 10 p.m. Police then found him with a small amount of marijuana and plastic bags that are used to sell drugs. Officers claim that Carter gave them a fake name, Laryan Brown, but had his real identification on him. That is when they ran his information to find out that he had an outstanding warrant for a drug case in 2011.
Carter was then arrested, searched again and placed in handcuffs in the back of the squad car. That is when he was shot, while still cuffed behind his back. Yates claims that the dashboard camera and witnesses support the officers’ version of events, but they’ve both been placed on paid leave pending the investigation.
“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.”