The Jonesboro Police Department in Arkansas has released dash cam video from the night that 21-year-old Chavis Carter died while handcuffed in the back of a police car, ABC News reports.
The video does not, however, show Carter in the back of the police vehicle where cops allegedly claim the handcuffed man took out a gun and shot himself in the head on July 29. As NewsOne previously reported, Jonesboro police say the cars were parked trunk to truck, making it impossible for the dash cam video to capture Carter’s movements.
WATCH Police Dash Cam Video Of Chavis Carter And Two Males Below
In the video, officers are seen searching Carter and two White males who were with him when the truck they were driving was stopped. It is not clear why the men were with Carter. The two White males were handcuffed and questioned. Carter is also shown being searched and then escorted to the police vehicle. He does not appear again.
But off-screen audio can be heard of Carter and an officer talking.
“Give me your full name,” an officer asks.
“Chavis (inaudible) Carter,” he replies.
“Now, how do you spell your first name. I mean, how do you pronounce it,” the officer asks.
Carter pronounces his first name.
The two White males are seen again in front of the car talking with the officers who decide to let them go. “You’re lucky. Both of you guys are lucky,” an officer told them. “You were this close to going to jail for possession”
The officers mentioned a bag of white powder. They admitted they were not sure what it was. The officers told the men that it had “nothing to do with ya’ll” and lectured them on how unwise it is to pick with men they do not know. He also told them that the police department would keep their names on file.
“If you get in another (inaudible) like this, I’m not gonna bail you out next time,” the officer told the two men. “You get a free pass.”
Carter, on the other hand, did not get such a pass. The officers are heard in the video explaining to the young men that Carter had drugs on him and would be going to jail. The men are seen getting into the truck and driving off.
The video ends before the gunshot goes off.
Jonesboro police claim that, after two searches, they missed the small, .380-caliber handgun they claim Carter used to take his own life. His family does not believe that story and the lawyer who is representing the family in the has his doubts as well.
Benjamin Irwin of The Cochran Firm in Memphis, Tenn., told ABC News in a statement that Carter was not suicidal and that their account is suspicious.
“How is it that a trained officer of the law can search a young man not just once, but twice, handcuff him, place in the back of your squad car and if he had a handgun not detect it,” Irvin said in the statement. “They are either completely incompetent or they are not being completely truthful about what truly happened.”