MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - An exclusive look inside the investigation of a Southaven man's death in the back of a Jonesboro squad car. Lawyers for Chavis Carter's family reveal for the first time what they've learned from Police since that fateful traffic stop on July 28th.
Jonesboro Police Chief Michael Yates is firing back, saying he is on the verge of releasing of details that will "fully explain the delay in closure of case and release of info."
"Regrettably in this particular case, we probably will never know 100 percent what the truth is," said Sam Cherry, a lawyer representing the Carter family.
Carter was arrested following a traffic stop on July 28th. Jonesboro Police say Carter was searched, handcuffed, and searched again. Despite the two searches, police later admitted Officer Ron Marsh missed the gun.
"All the events that occurred after he was handcuffed, and after he was searched, would not have happened had there been, had the standard of care been properly adhered too," said Cherry.
Carter was later found in the back of the squad car with a gunshot wound to the head. The Arkansas State Medical Examiner ruled Carter's death a suicide.
Cherry says his team plans to sue the Jonesboro Police Department for negligence. He says he's also investigating if Carter's federal civil rights were violated.
"Whatever he was, nothing else would have happened had there been a proper search conducted," said Cherry.
Cherry says he can't figure out why police released the driver and one passenger after they discovered electronic scales and baggies in the truck.
"The scales or whatever else they found that was suggestive of evidence of drug paraphernalia, the legal presumption is the owner of the vehicle owned that," Cherry said.
"The legal presumption is that the owner of the vehicle owned that, yet the two white guys they let go, and the African American is arrested."
"Just the suggestions associated with that are not good," said Cherry.
In the dash-cam video, Police talk about releasing Carter too, until they realize he has a warrant out of DeSoto County, Mississippi.
Cherry says he hopes to file the suit by the end of the year.