- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
- HAYDEN: Intelligence, evidence and the case against Russia
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
- Activists vow to occupy fast-food restaurants to get higher pay
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Senate Dems wary of immigration politics
- Summer camp for 1 percenters: Sushi, limos and shopping at FAO Schwarz
- Colorado gun crackdown law found to be built on faulty data
- Hank Aaron steps to fundraising plate for Democrat Michelle Nunn
Slain man’s family seeks answers on ruling of suicide
Question of the Day
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Chavis Carter’s family hasn’t accepted the official explanation for his death: that he was on meth when he fatally shot himself while his hands were cuffed behind him in the backseat of a patrol car in Arkansas.
The family portrays the 21-year-old as a bright young man who aspired to be a veterinarian, who liked shopping for sneakers and playing basketball. As questions swirl about how and why Mr. Carter died, his family also has been demanding more answers from authorities.
“If he did it, I want to know how it happened,” his grandmother, Anne Winters Carter, said in an interview. “And if he didn’t do it, then we want justice.”
Jonesboro, Ark., police have faced criticism because they say officers searched Mr. Carter twice but didn’t find a gun before they noticed him slumped over and bleeding in the back of a patrol car on July 28. Questions about race have cropped up too, because Mr. Carter was black and police said the two officers who stopped the truck he was in were white, as were the other people in the vehicle.
The local branch of the NAACP has called for a thorough investigation, and the FBI has said it’s monitoring the case. Mr. Carter’s grandmother and his mom, Teresa Carter, are also working with a high-profile legal firm that represented O.J. Simpson.
Some of the family’s supporters marched through Jonesboro, Ark., on Tuesday. One woman had a sign that read, “Stop the lies!! No suicide.” That march came a day after a candlelight vigil was held for Mr. Carter in Memphis and police released an autopsy report from the Arkansas state crime lab that deemed his death a suicide.
Mr. Carter had a past — court records show he had an arrest warrant stemming from a drug charge in Mississippi — but his family says there was more to his story. They described him as a good kid who liked bugs and animals.
“He used to always say, ‘The world gonna know my name,’ ” said Bianca Tipton, one of Mr. Carter’s friends. “Now the world do know his name.”
After graduating from high school in 2010, Mr. Carter got some general courses out of the way and was planning on taking classes at a college in Arkansas this fall.
He used to go shopping for sneakers with his grandma. Jordans were his favorite, especially a blue-and-white pair.
“Everything had to match,” Mrs. Winters Carter said.
The ruling that his death was a suicide was confounding to her and others who knew Mr. Carter. It’s not just that he was searched and handcuffed. They note that Mr. Carter was left-handed but was shot in his right temple.
“If he’s double-locked and he’s shot in his right temple, but he is left-handed, that’s the part I don’t understand,” Mrs. Winters Carter said.
Police have released video showing how a man could put a gun to his temple while his hands were cuffed behind his back. They shared footage recorded by dashboard cameras the night of the shooting and sent out a copy of the autopsy report.
“There’s no other explanation to this other than that he put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger and that’s what we call a suicide,” said Stephen Erickson, a medical examiner who conducted the autopsy.
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- PRUDEN: The Democratic-wannabe mice under Hillary Clinton's feet
- Let it roll: D.C. Council hits Las Vegas on taxpayer's dime, leaves $14,000 tab
- White House readies for House GOP impeachment push: 'Foolish' to ignore
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame ready for different route to title
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq