The police chief in the case of a 21-year-old man who officers say shot himself in the head while his hands were cuffed behind his back admits that the scenario “defies logic,” but Jonesboro Police Chief Michael Yates stands behind the officers who made the claim.
In an interview with HLN host Jane Velez Mitchell, Yates called the situation surrounding the death of Chavis Carter “bizarre,” admitting that the notion that a handcuffed Carter shot himself in the head with a gun he secreted from two police officers who searched him twice, all while he remained handcuffed and seated in the back of a patrol car, defies logic.
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Velez-Mitchell even demonstrated the position Carter would have been in, showing how difficult it would be to maneuver one’s hands. Yates said that in his time in law enforcement “we’ve seen some people do some remarkable things” while in handcuffs, including “smoke cigarettes, [and] talk on the phone.”
Yates said witnesses at the scene “tend to support” the version of events given by two officers:
“There’s no indication of any projectiles coming from outside the vehicle,” Yates told Mitchell, according to ThinkProgress. “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. 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.”
TheGrio has also learned that Yates told members of Jonesboro’s African-American community that the FBI is reviewing the case.
And ThinkProgress reports that a vigil for Carter will be held Monday night.
Follow Joy Reid at @thereidreport