Talk about a bizarre mystery. A man, Chavis Carter, was arrested, handcuffed, and placed in the back of a police squad car. And then he was dead, shot through the head point-blank. How does that happen? This is the question his family, the public, and police have been asking themselves since the incident occurred on July 28. Police say the man committed suicide. But he did it while handcuffed? The family says the whole thing is suspicious -- especially since Carter is left handed and the bullet went through the right side of his head. Now the coroner has ruled on his death.
The autopsy report says that trace amounts drugs, including methamphetamine and an anti-depressant, were found in Carter's system. But what is making news is also that his death has been ruled a suicide.
This has really got to be a bizarre case, and it opens up a bunch of questions on all sides. How does something like this happen? How and why does a handcuffed man pull a gun and shoot himself?
Dashboard video of the arrest shows two officers patting Chavis down. Had he really managed to conceal a gun that the police didn't find? (Police say it was probably missed on the first search and then he managed to hide the gun in squad car before a second, more thorough, search.) Unfortunately the video doesn't show the moment Carter was shot or this would all be cleared up.
A CNN commenter who saw the dashboard video says that Carter was extremely polite throughout his questioning by police -- saying "Yes, sir," "No, sir," and that the cops also were polite, and there was no evidence of tension, or friction, or what was about to happen just minutes later.
Newly-released eyewitness testimony shows one woman saying that she heard a "pop" like a gun going off after the cops put the Carter into the backseat. She says she heard the sound while the cops were outside the police car. Another witness says he heard an officer calling his partner for help.
As the CNN commentator says, "No clear answer on what happened." But the coroner report rules "suicide," so it remains to be seen whether questions about this case ever rise to the level of the questions about the Trayvon Martin case.
What do you think happened?
Image via CNN/YouTube