A Coronor has ruled the death of a 21-year-old African American man who was shot in the head while handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser a suicide, the Associated Press reports.
The death of Chavis Carter has caused outrage throughout the state of Arkansas. Many residents were in disbelief upon learning the handcuffed man shot himself after police arrested him for an outstanding warrant.
Carter was frisked twice before his death, according to police.
Carter and two young white males were pulled over in a truck by Jonesboro, AK Officer Ron Marsh. Carter may have potentially been conducting a drug deal with the young men. Police found marijuana, a scale and a bag of powdery white substance.
Carter and two other men can be seen in dash cam video being questioned by police. Carter was patted and led to the back of the patrol car.
Police told the two other young men to leave.
Action 5 News reports there wasn’t video or audio of “Officer Marsh finding Carter shot in the backseat.” Furthermore, Action 5 states a gunshot is not clearly seen or heard in the tape.
Carter was later found in the backseat slumped over and covered in blood.
Carter’s death was ruled a suicide based on autopsy findings and investigative conclusions from the Jonesboro police department, according to the autopsy report obtained by AP.
“He was cuffed and placed into a police car, where apparently he produced a weapon, and despite being handcuffed, shot himself in the head,” the report says.
Casper Gibson, who witnessed the incident, said, “The other officer jumped out the car, ran, and opened two back doors of the vehicle and next thing I know that’s when the ambulance pulled up but other than that I didn’t hear a gunshot or nothing like that.”
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Dash Cam Footage