Joneseboro police claim that 21-year-old Chavis Chacobie Carter
of Southaven, Mississippi committed suicide, but his family and others are searching for an explanation of how someone who was searched twice by police managed to hide a gun and use it to shoot himself in the head while handcuffed in the back of a patrol car.
that Officers Keith Baggett and Ron Marsh pulled over a pickup truck in which Carter was a passenger last Saturday night. A search turned up "some marijuana" on Carter, who according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal
, was also wanted
on a felony warrant stemming from a 2010 conviction for selling marijuana.
Officers claimed that they searched Carter twice but found no weapon.
"He was handcuffed behind his back," Sgt. Lyle Waterworth told ABC 24, when officers "reported hearing a sound."
They then claim to have found Carter slumped over and bleeding from the head, a small-caliber handgun lying next to him. He was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.
Carter's family does not believe that he took his own life.
"I don't believe this was an accident," Charles Douglas, his father, told ABC 24. "I know my son. He's not suicidal. He wouldn't have taken his own life."
"He was never suicidal, never," aunt Bobbie Miller said. "He wouldn't have ever done it."
"They (police) have a job to do, I understand that," Douglas added. "But if you have a badge and put that badge on to protect and serve, that's all people. Not some. They know the truth. That's all we want to know is the truth."
Jonesboro officers Baggett and Marsh have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.