This incident occurred in Jonesboro, Arkansas. And what is really controversial here is that the man who allegedly killed himself was already in the back seat of a police car. And he was handcuffed. Additionally, for Chavis Carter to have committed suicide, the police would have had to miss the gun when doing their patdown. Mom Theresa Carter had come out to say that she thinks the police shot him.
The Associated Press released a report earlier today which said that the coroner ruled Chavis Carter’s death a suicide.
AP has now released further information (see Sources below) with further test results. Toxicology showed that Carter had meth in his system. There were also traces of other drugs, including diazepam (an anti-anxiety drug) and oxycodone (a pain killer). It is now not so surprising to think that Carter may have killed himself. I have always said from the very beginning that an intent to commit suicide was not necessary for Carter to have killed himself. The guy had meth in his system. Who knows what he was doing with that gun. Maybe he didn’t even know what he was doing and accidentally shot himself. Maybe the drugs made him temporarily crazy, causing him to become suicidal.
This positive drug result, by itself, doesn’t mean much. But when considering all other evidence that has been revealed to the public (including eyewitness statements), there is nothing at all that suggests the police shot and killed Chavis Carter. The only exception to this is that they would have had to miss the gun when frisking him. When everything else points to either intentional or accidental suicide, that fact of missing the gun during frisking is not compelling.