Questions remain after video of U.S. man shot in police car released
Published Saturday, August 18, 2012 12:41PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, August 18, 2012 6:01PM EDT
Mystery surrounds the death of a 21-year-old Arkansas man who was fatally shot in the back of police patrol car while his hands were cuffed behind his back.
Footage recorded by police the night Chavis Carter was shot was released to the media under a Freedom of Information Act request this week.
Carter suffered a gunshot wound to his head on the night of July 28. Police have said he shot himself in the head. However, officers frisked Carter twice without finding a gun.
Video was released by Jonesboro police earlier in the week that shows the series of events before the actual shooting took place. Footage of what occurred after the shooting was later released.
A lawyer representing Carter’s family said the video didn’t answer any of the family’s questions.
"There's still nothing in there about what actually happened with Chavis," Benjamin Irwin, a Memphis-based lawyer representing Carter's family, said before the second batch of video had been released.
On Friday, video shot from the police car’s dashboard camera was handed over to the media, showing what occurred after Carter’s body was discovered.
Sgt. Lyle Waterworth, a spokesperson for the Jonesboro police, said the camera system in the patrol cars is controlled automatically with an emergency light bar and siren system.
"After the light bar is turned off the camera system ends its recording," Waterworth said in a statement.
He said additional video was retrieved during a forensic exam of Carter's phone, which remains part of the investigation and hasn’t been released.
In the latest video, an unseen man is heard saying, “He was breathing a second ago.” A person is also heard saying, “I patted him down. I don’t know where he had it hidden.”
Later, someone instructs the others to leave the scene as it is.
In the first batch of videos, officers are seen pulling up to a white pickup truck. Police say the truck was stopped after a suspicious vehicle was reported driving up and down the street.
An officer searches Carter and then leads him toward the patrol car.
Court records show that Carter had a warrant out for his arrest in Mississippi on a drug-related charge.
Police said in a statement that they are waiting on a complete autopsy report, forensics and toxicology results from the state crime lab.
With files from The Associated Press
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