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FBI Investigates Questionable ‘Suicide’ of Black Man in Arkansas

After police released a report saying that 21-year-old Jonesboro, Arkansas, resident Chavis Carter had shot himself in the head while handcuffed in the back of a police car, the story sounded so outlandish for even federal officials to believe—so the FBI has announced that it will conduct its own investigation of the incident.

The police officers on the scene claim that they failed to discover a gun hidden on Carter when they searched him on the night of July 29th. They say this is the weapon that Carter used to kill himself, while both officers were nowhere near the car. Carter had been cuffed and placed in the back of the car after a traffic stop, during which officers said they found marijuana and empty baggies in the car.

According to the evidence released regarding the shooting, Carter would have had to use his non-dominant hand to shoot himself in the temple, while his hands were cuffed behind his back.

Carter’s family believes that the police killed him, and are now trying to cover their tracks. Other members of the Jonesboro police department are standing by the report.

“Any given officer has missed something on a search, you know, be it drugs, be it knives, be it razor blades,” Sgt. Lyle Waterworth of the Jonesboro police told a local news station. “This instance, it happened to be a gun.”

Speaking to HLN, Police Chief MichaelYates admitted that the scenario is “definitely bizarre and defies logic at first glance,” but that no contrary evidence had been found. “There’s no indication of any projectiles coming from outside the vehicle. We’ve reviewed the dashcam video and as late as today managed to have some witnesses come forward that observed the incident from start to finish,” Yates said. “And their statements tend to support that whatever transpired in the back of that police car transpired in the back with the officers in a different location.”

A spokeswoman for the FBI’s Little Rock office, Kim Brunell, told the Huffington Post that they had been told to get involved. The bureau will provide ballistics reports as part of the ongoing investigation.

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