The Jonesboro police department has released the dashboard video from the night they claim 21-year-old Chavis Carter shot himself while handcuffed in the back of a police car. Police Chief Michael Yates has said the video, along with witness accounts, supports the involved officers’ account that Chavis Carter shot himself.
But the footage, which is 90 minutes long and includes interviews with witnesses, does not capture video or audio of a gunshot itself, or the aftermath. The local channel, WCMTV, which is sorting through the footage, noted:
You can see the White Truck pulled over by Jonesboro Officer Ron Marsh’s car. Marsh gets out and heads over to the Passenger side where Chavis Carter gets out the car. Two other men are also in the truck. The audio on this dash cam is inaudible at times, but parts of the conversation are audible. On the footage, we hear Marsh ask if Carter has ID before patting him down and escorting him to the back of the patrol car. From inside the cruiser, we hear an officer quiz Carter once again about his ID. Also in this video, we can clearly see a bag of what is reportedly drugs sitting on the hood of the cruiser. What is not clearly seen or heard on the tape is a gunshot. Nor is there any dash cam video or audio of officer Marsh finding Carter shot in the backseat.
An eyewitness recalled, “The other officer jumped out the car, ran and opened two back doors of the vehicle and next thing I know that’s when the ambulance pulled up but other than that I didn’t hear a gunshot or nothing like that.”
The police also recently released a non-evidentiary video demonstrating how someone could shoot themselves while in handcuffs after Yates said it was “quite easy” to do. The Carter family’s lawyer said, “It’s odd that they would release that video instead of just releasing evidence if they have any.”
Watch a clip of the dashboard video: