The Arkansas police officer who frisked Chavis Carter will be reprimanded for failing to properly search the young man, Jonesboro Police Chief Michael Yates said Tuesday (Aug. 28). Carter was handcuffed in the back of a squad car when authorities claim that he shot himself in the head.
In a phone conversation with his girlfriend, he reportedly admitted to having a gun, according to a police report.
Carter was searched twice by Officer Ron Marsh, but no gun was uncovered. He claims that as soon as he walked away from the squad car, the 21-year-old committed suicide.
Both Marsh and the second officer at the scene were placed on paid administrative leave while the department investigated Carter’s death, but have returned to work. “Based upon these facts and circumstance I made the decision to return them to active duty status,” Yates told the Associated Press via email.
Video surveillance from one of the officer’s dashboard camera shows Carter speaking to authorities about a warrant out for his arrest, but does not show when he actually shot himself. Carter was also found to be in possession of marijuana. “It has been clearly and unequivocally established that Carter took his own life while under the influence of mind-altering drugs and while engaging in a series of criminal acts,” Yates said. “I preparation for civil action, the investigation continues so that we may identify all parties associated with the case and seek additional witnesses if they can be identified and located.”
Family and friends believe that Carter was killed by police, and the FBI is looking further into the case.
An autopsy concluded that Carter died from a self-inflicted gunshot.
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