US & Canada

Chavis Charter death ruled suicide by autopsy report

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Media captionThe footage from the police dash cam shows Chavis Carter's questioning and arrest

The death of a US man who allegedly shot himself in a police car after being searched twice and handcuffed was a suicide, according to an autopsy.

Three medical examiners signed the state crime laboratory report on the death of Chavis Carter, 21.

Police say he concealed a gun and while handcuffed, raised the weapon and shot himself in the head in the back of the police car on 28 July.

His family have questioned the police's story, saying Carter was not suicidal.

The FBI has been monitoring the case.

Missed weapon?

Carter was searched after a traffic stop in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Police found a small amount of marijuana but no gun. He had an outstanding arrest warrant in Mississippi for a drug offence.

Image caption Teresa Carter says her son, Chavis, was not suicidal

The report, released on Monday under a Freedom of Information request, included autopsy findings and investigative conclusions from the Jonesboro police department.

It said the muzzle of a gun was placed against Carter's head when it was fired.

A video from the dash cam of the police car was released last week, also under a Freedom of Information request by media organisations.

But the footage has done little to answer the Carter family's questions because while it shows their son being questioned and handcuffed, it does not include the moment the fatal shot was fired.

Carter, an African-American, was shot in the right temple, but his family have reportedly said he was left-handed.

Last week, police in Jonesboro released a video reconstructing events - using the same type of handcuffs and the same model of handgun - to demonstrate what they believe happened to Carter.

In the video, an officer of similar height and weight to Carter sat in the back of a police car, leaned over and was able to lift the weapon to his head and reach the trigger.

Jonesboro Police Chief Michael Yates said it was possible Carter hid the gun in the police car after he was searched the first time - before he was handcuffed.

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