|Chavis Carter died of a gun shot wound to the head,|
while handcuffed in the back of a police car.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Handcuffed: Who is Responsible?
Arkansa Police alleged that 21 year old Chavis Carter shot himself in the head while handcuffed in the back of a police car. Carter was arrested after the car he was riding in was found with marijuana and a search of his name yielded an outstanding warrant for his arrest in Mississippi. Officers confirm that he was searched, in fact they stated he was searched twice. However, the same police Officers are now confirming that it is possible after both searches Carter was still able to conceal a weapon "on his person"(on his body).
The gun that was used to shoot and kill Carter, Officers say was a weapon that Carter had hidden on his body throughout both searches. Carter's mother doesn't believe that Carter would commit suicide. She stated her son is left - handed, however the gun shot wound was to Carter's right side. She also stated that Carter called his girlfriend moments before he was arrested and told her he would call her again once he got to the jail.
Officers are claiming their innocence in the shooting and believe that several eye witnesses can attribute to the fact that they never pulled their weapons out and were not standing near the car at the time of the shooting. They insist "stranger things have happened" while someone was handcuffed. However, an investigation is now being conducted for this incident.
Even in the unlikely event that Carter shot himself while handcuffed and in the back of the police car, who should be held responsible. A person is said to be in "custody", when they are not free to leave. Who is responsible for a suspect once they are in police custody? Should the Officers be held responsible if this was an accident? Was it their duty to protect this suspect? If you found out that is was not the Police's duty to protect this young man's life, would you want the law to be changed?