Sunday, August 05, 2012

Means "Who Polices the Police?"

From Crooks and Liars:

Arkansas Police Claim Man Shot Himself in Head Despite Handcuffs

A Mississippi mother is accusing police in Jonesboro, Arkansas of killing her son after he was found shot in the head with his hands cuffed behind his back in a squad car.

A police report obtained by KAIT indicated that 21-year-old Chavis Chacobie Carter had been a passenger in a pickup truck when Officer Ron Marsh found "some marijuana" and plastic baggies in his possession. Marsh also determined that Carter had been wanted on a warrant after he missed a court date for drug charges in DeSoto County, Mississippi.

Marsh then had Carter “exit the patrol unit, placed him into handcuffs, searched him a second time then placed him into the back seat of the patrol unit.”

Jonesboro Police Sergeant Lyle Waterworth told WREG that Carter had been "handcuffed behind his back and double locked, and searched."

At that point, Officer Keith Baggett believed a passing car ran over a piece of metal in the road because he heard "a loud thump with a metallic sound." Baggett said he then heard "several thumps" after Marsh released the two other suspects. Marsh motioned Baggett over to the patrol car and said the 21-year-old had shot himself.

More here, with video.

Gross incompetence or racist murder. Either way, it's just awful. I say "racist murder" for obvious reasons: yet another young black man dies while in police custody. But I can also see it going the other way, especially after experiencing the incompetence of Harris County Sheriff's Deputies many years ago: it is entirely possible that these Jonesboro cops simply missed the gun after two searches, and, while trying to get it out, Carter accidentally shot himself. Like I said, neither option A nor option B look good for these policemen. Personally, I'm preferring option B; I'm really weary of hearing about cops killing people for their racist jollies. But I suppose we'll know the truth soon enough. There is definitely an investigation happening right now, which, I hope, is an honest one.