FROM WIRE REPORTS
JONESBORO, Ark. – A medical examiner has ruled that Chavis Carter, the 21-year-old man who sustained a gunshot wound to the head while handcuffed in the back of a police car, died from suicide.
According to a report by Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Stephen A. Erickson of the Arkansas State Crime Lab, the bullet that killed Carter entered his skull near his right temple, four inches from the top of his head.
“At the time of discharge, the muzzle of the gun was placed against the right temporal scalp,” wrote Erickson.
He added, “The manner of death is based on both autopsy findings and the investigative conclusions of the Jonesboro Police Department.”
Last week, Jonesboro police released video of a police officer approximately the same size as Carter reenacting what may have happened the back of the police car on the night of July 28, when Carter and two other men were pulled over in a traffic stop. Police searched Carter twice but have said they did not find a gun.
Mom: Carter was never suicidal
Theresa Carter, his mother, doesn’t believe police claims that her son shot himself to death with his hands cuffed behind his back in a police cruiser.
She is hurting and wants to know what happened in the last moments of life. A growing number of people also want the truth and others believe the young Black man was killed by police. The suicide story, they say, is ludicrous.
“I’m just heartbroken. I just want to know what really happened. … My child was never suicidal.
He would never kill himself. My son was full of joy, full of life, full of ambition,” Mrs. Carter somberly yet emphatically told The Final Call in an exclusive interview.
Mrs. Carter said her son’s father and two brothers are also having difficulty coping. “A day don’t go by I don’t cry. I’m just trying to be strong and hold up. I just want justice served,” she added.
The case has led to a number of protests. More were scheduled this week.
The Associated Press, The Final Call along with the NNPA News Service were used in compiling this report.