Can you imagine how a man could shoot himself in the head while his hands have been double locked behind his back? Now imagine him shooting himself squarely in the right temple, when he is left-handed.
This seemingly impossible suicide is how Jonesboro, Arkansas police explain the death of twenty one year old Chavis Carter. On Saturday night he was placed in a patrol car because he had marijuana on his person. He also had a warrant for previous drug possession.
“As protocol, he was handcuffed behind his back, double-locked and searched” said Jonesboro Police Department Sgt. Lyle Waterworth. Yet minutes later he was shot in the head. The police claim that he had hidden a gun and had taken it out to shoot himself.
His mother, Teresa Chavis, thinks the police killed him. She says he wasn’t suicidal and had just called his girlfriend to let her know what was happening. He told her he would call her from jail. Teresa wants to know what happened to her son.
The two officers who were present when Carter was shot were placed on administrative leave, but we cannot let that be the end of the story.
Tell the Jonesboro Police Department and the Jonesboro Mayor that the whole world is watching them. We expect a full investigation. Chavis’s mother deserves to know exactly how her son died.
If it becomes clear that the police murdered this young man, they should not be put on “administrative leave” – they should be tried and sent to prison. Chavis was handcuffed behind his back and could not defend himself. As in the case of Travon Martin, jailing the killer will not reverse the death of a young man. But it will remind the world that we do not live in a country that ignores violence against African Americans.
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