An autopsy report released Monday backed up claims made by Arkansas police officers that an African-American man in custody shot himself in the head despite being handcuffed, according to the Associated Press.
“He was cuffed and placed into a police car, where apparently he produced a weapon, and despite being handcuffed, shot himself in the head,” the autopsy report said.
Chavis Carter, 21, was picked up for an outstanding arrest warrant late last month, frisked, handcuffed and then frisked again. After police put Carter in the back of a patrol car, the officers said they heard several thumps and discovered the man slumped over with a gunshot wound to the head. He later died at a hospital.
“At the time of discharge, the muzzle of the gun was placed against the right temporal scalp,” the autopsy report said.
The odd circumstances of the incident led many to doubt the police officers’ story, including Carter’s mother.
Arkansas police released a reenactment video in hopes of quieting suspicions about the alleged suicide. Days later, they released footage from the traffic stop. But doubts still remain.
“There’s still nothing in there about what actually happened with Chavis,” Benjamin Irwin, a Memphis-based lawyer representing Carter’s family, said.
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