Chavis Carter Called His Girlfriend Minutes Before Being Shot in the Police Car
Police are saying that the man who was shot in the back of a police car while handcuffed called his girlfriend and told her that he had a gun. The case of Chavis Carter has gotten attention from the nation, including civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, who called for an investigation. Carter’s death was ruled to be a suicide, but observers were wondering how he could have shot himself in the head while handcuffed.
Carter’s girlfriend, who remains unidentified, says that he told her that he was scared and that he loved her. Police say that the man made two calls from the back of the police car.
Benjamin Irwin, a Memphis, Tenn., lawyer representing Carter’s family, told USA Today that “in previous reports and information we had about (the girlfriend) was that no mention of a gun during the call was included. …After watching the other witness interviews, I can only speculate that the interview involved a lot of leading questions by the investigator.”
Officers say that they searched Carter twice and never found a gun on him. Carter is black and the two arresting officers are white.
“It is presumed that Carter secreted the gun in the rear of the car after the pat-down but before the cuffing and second search,” the police statement said.
“I think the critical points still remain that this young man was in police custody,” Irwin said Wednesday. “He lost his life at a time when they had a responsibility and duty to protect him.”
Police say that a man claims that Carter told him to bring him a gun right before his interaction with the police. The officers are also say that Carter was involved in a small drug deal involving 4 ounces of marijuana. They also said that he tested positive for meth, along with other drugs.
Police say that the evidence of how the blood splattered makes their case that this was a suicide, not a police shooting.
“This virtually eliminates any possibility that the fatal wound was caused by any weapon other than the one recovered in the rear of the vehicle and that its discharge was caused by Carter,” police said in the statement.
The videotaped evidence that was released by the police department had been edited, leading critics to wonder if they were hiding something.
“These things are crystal clear from a reception standpoint and from a functioning standpoint,” he said. “And then they just malfunction for three minutes when this young man lost his life? I am just not ready to accept that as the answer.”
Carter’s mother has marched with Rev. Jesse Jackson and other community supporters who are looking for answers as to what happened to her son.
“We hope that people concerned about justice, white and black, would find some common ground as we pursue this case of justice,” Jackson told reporters in Memphis, Tenn. “We simply want justice and fairness in the land. … We are convinced the explanations given so far are not credible ones.”
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