Vigil For Man Who Appears To Have Shot Himself While Handcuffed In Police Car
(Jonesboro, AR) Hundreds of people from around the Mid-South gathered outside a Jonesboro church and lit candles to remember Chavis Carter.
Carter was shot in a police squad car a little more than a week ago.
Almost all of those who came to the vigil had questions about the death of the Mississippi man, who died while in police custody.
Carter was arrested for an outstanding warrant and for possession of marijuana.
Officers say they searched him, handcuffed him, and put him in the back of a police squad car.
Minutes later, one of those officers said he got into the front of the car holding Carter, smelled smoke, and turned to find Carter had shot himself in the head.
The conclusion has raised serious questions with Carter’s mother, Teresa. “I believe they killed him,” she told wreg.com days after the shooting.
Now, more than a week later, hundreds of others stood around her, saying their believe the same thing.
“I can’t say too much, because I live in Jonesboro,” said one resident.
“There are things happening here with this police department that are unfair”, said another.
The New York Daily News quoted Jonesboro Police Chief Michael Yates as saying a dashboard-camera video and accounts from unnamed witnesses “tend to support” Baggett and Marsh’s account. The two officers were placed on paid administrative leave, pending results of the probe.
The FBI is monitoring the police investigation and will perform ballistics tests on the .380-caliber, cobra semi-automatic handgun found near his body. The gun had been reported stolen in Jonesboro, a month before.
Monday night’s crowd had shirts, and signs, demanding accountability and seeking the truth.
It’s the same hope of others across the country who have expressed so much interest in the case, the FBI has agreed to supervise the investigation of the shooting.
The investigation is being conducted by Jonesboro police.
Chavis’ mother Teresa Carter told wreg.com she visited the site where her son was killed just before the vigil, and was doing her best to hold on.