The Jonesboro Police Department has released the dashcam footage from the squad cars involved in the traffic stop that led to the arrest of Chavis Carter, the 21-year-old who was reportedly frisked twice before being placed in the back of a cruiser with his hands cuffed behind his back but later died from a gunshot to the head that police say was self inflicted. Last week, Gene Lyons weighed in as one of those who say that while a patdown search should have found the gun, the Jonesboro PD account of how it happened might well be plausible.
The footage released today doesn't immediately appear to show the moment when Carter allegedly fired the gun, only the stop in which Carter's two companions were released on their own recognizance — though there is a metallic "pop" just after the 4:30 mark on the tape that — to this layman's ear — doesn't seem to be loud enough to be the .380 caliber automatic pistol Carter was reportedly killed with. At the very least, the noise wasn't loud enough to draw the attention of officers standing near the car. According to the police account, officers found Carter dying in a pool of blood in the back seat immediately after sending his two companions on their way.
Tension surrounding the case has mounted in recent weeks, with the FBI saying they will conduct their own investigation.