While many of us remain resilient and focused on the Trayvon Martin injustice, it may be easy to miss other blatant and horrible crimes being “covered up” right under our noses. Like the murder of Travyvon Martin, the case of Chavis Carter in Jonesboro, Arkansas is one we must immediately zoom our lenses in on and penetrate with our questions until the answers make sense.
Here is what we know:
21-year old Chavis Carter was shot in the head while handcuffed in the back of a police car in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Saturday, July 28th. CNN reports that Carter was a passenger in a pick-up truck stopped by police. When marijuana was found on Chavis Carter, police ran his information and discovered a warrant issued by the state of Mississippi. Chavis was placed in the back of the patrol car after being hand-cuffed behind his back and searched according to a local police station’s interview with Department Sgt. Lyle Waterworth. Police officers report that minutes after placing Carter in the patrol car, they hear a thump and turn around to find Chavis dead from a gunshot wound. Sgt. Waterworth and another arresting officer told station WREG-TV in Arkansas that they believe Chavis Carter was concealing a gun and when given the opportunity, committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
Here is what we need to know:
If Chavis Carter was searched as all apprehended suspects are, how was he able to hide a gun and how did police find a bag of marijuana during a search and miss a gun? “Any given officer has missed something on a search, be it drugs, be it knives, or razorblades,” says Sgt. Waterworth. “This time it happened to be a gun.”
Chavis’s mother also interviewed with station, WREG-TV, and says her son was not suicidal. She questions a bullet wound in Carter’s right temple because her son is left-handed. Why would a left-handed person shoot himself in the right temple?
According to the Baltimore Sun, Police Chief Michael Yates admitted to CNN that his officers' story was "definitely bizarre, and it defies logic at first glance." But he said it was corroborated by a dash cam and by witnesses, neither of which have been made public.
The two arresting officers have been placed on administrative leave, but that does not begin to scratch the surface for a satisfying conclusion for Chavis Carter’s family and our community. The conspiracy theory that Carter killed himself is leaving a sour taste in our mouths much like that huge, nasty pill the justice system tried to make us swallow in the Trayvon Martin murder.
Beginning to receive national attention, the Chavis Carter case remains under investigation with little evidence and growing doubts, and it seems that the dark, ominous clouds are starting to gather on Jonesboro, Arkansas.