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Police in Jonesboro, Ark. are attempting to wipe the slate clean amid allegations that they are covering up the shooting death of Chavis Carter, which they claim was a suicide. Earlier in the week, the department released a taped reenactment in hopes of proving their theory that the 21-year-old shot himself in the head while handcuffed in the back of a squad car, and now comes the dashboard recording from the night in question.

Noticeably missing from the  recording is the moment Chavis was said to have shot himself.

Carter was pulled over with two others, who were White, and let go. After running his information, and finding that he had an outstanding warrant, Carter was put in the back of the police car. He phoned his girlfriend beforehand telling her that he would call back once he made it to jail.

In the video, Chavis is seen talking to Officer Ron Marsh about his warrant. Personnel files released on Marsh revealed that while he received praise and awards, he was also cited twice for failing to follow proper procedure during two traffic stops. According to the report, one person complained that he left “improper” notes on her car.  Meanwhile, the second officer, Keith Bagget, was admonished for not following policy and procedure, but also received a letter of praise for being “patient, courteous and professional.”

Bagget and Marsh claim that they walked away from the car and heard a gunshot. Chavis was allegedly found dead in the backseat of a self-inflicted wound to the right temple, but was left-handed. He was searched twice and police found no weapon on his person.

Police Chief Michael Yates told CNN that he’s seen people in custody “do some amazing things,” stating that Chavis could have killed himself. “They could have told me anything, that he died in a car wreck or anything else. I can go for that. But suicide? I don’t believe it for one second,” said Carter’s father, Douglas.

While the FBI is conducting a separate investigation, Yates has been asked to resign by local civil right groups.

Autopsy reports, plus forensic and toxicology findings have yet to be completed by the State Crime Lab, but may help unveil the truth behind his death.

A candlelight vigil was held in Carter’s honor last week. Click below to see photos.


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Photos: BuzzBox/AP

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