"We must begin a relentless search for the truth," said Benjamin Irwin, managing partner and civil trial lawyer. “We must discover what happened the night Chavis died. We believe his family and the region deserve to know the truth about this incident.”
The Cochran Firm is investigating what Jonesboro Arkansas Police Chief Michael Yates admitted was a “bizarre” incident on July 28, 2012, in which officers arresting Carter searched him twice without detecting a handgun. Carter then died of what arresting officers claim was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head suffered after he was handcuffed and placed in the squad car.
Carter was arrested when officers found items classified as drug paraphernalia under the seat of the truck in which Carter was in; a truck owned by one of Carter’s Caucasian companions who was not arrested.
“The Cochran Firm will focus our investigation not only on the facts of this incident, but also the training and work history of the police officers involved,” Irwin said. “There are just too many questions unanswered, and the answers to the questions that we have been given thus far defy both logic and reason. The officers involved with this case appear to be either incompetent, or they are not being completely truthful about what happened.”
While the police have maintained their suicide theory, Irwin noted his investigation will closely scrutinize why two white police officers “randomly” stopped a vehicle with two Caucasians and one African American – only to arrest the African American.
“With a tainted history of discrimination in their handling of situations involving Africans Americans, the Jonesboro Police department and Chief Yates makes you wonder if the untimely death of one of our local youth is another product of a troubling precedent,” Irwin said. “Sadly for Chavis Carter, he may have become the latest victim in what many members of the community see as yet another controversial incident involving the Jonesboro Police Department.”
Founded over 40 years ago by famed attorney, Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., The Cochran Firm, as it is known today, continues to handle plaintiffs' litigation and criminal defense cases. It has offices located across the United States.