Rev. Jesse Jackson leads march of hundreds for Chavis Carter - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Rev. Jesse Jackson leads march of hundreds for Chavis Carter

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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Reverend Jesse Jackson was in Jonesboro Wednesday for a peaceful march and prayer vigil for Chavis Carter. He told Region 8 News that Carter's death seems improbable.

"We call it Houdini justice," Reverend Jackson said.

Though ruled a suicide by the State Medical Examiner's office, Carter's supporters and family members remain suspicious of his death.

"I'm calling for justice, I'm not calling for any kind of personality," Reverend Jackson said as he led a group of hundreds to the Justice Complex in Downtown Jonesboro. 

The march began in the 1200 block of Haltom Street, the place Jonesboro Police and the State Medical Examiner's Office say Carter shot himself in the head while handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser.

However Reverend Jackson doesn't agree. He's called for the US Department of Justice to intervene with the Carter death investigation to "make sure justice is served."

We asked Reverend Jackson how he would feel if the US Department of Justice came to the same conclusion as JPD and the State Medical Examiner's Office. He said he could accept it if it was fair.

"But this four minute gap in the tape is a very suspicious gap," he said.

Wednesday JPD released much more information regarding not only that gap in video and audio from the police cruiser's dash cam, but also why the state medical examiner's office didn't test for gun powder residue. 

This latest information released hasn't swayed the way Pat Loston feels about the case. He rode his bike up and down Haltom street as the march was beginning. The sign on his bicycle read "Support the Police."

"I've been flipped off a few times but that's alright. I've got free speech, they've got free speech. This is America!" Loston said.

However, Loston was outnumbered, as the line of people supporting Carter was in the hundreds. Norma Ferrell supports Chavis Carter and said she's been following the case from the beginning. She told KAIT she wants more than the truth.

"The officers need to step down because they were lacking in their job and it cost a life," Ferrell said.

Reverend Jackson said he doesn't necessarily feel that Jonesboro Police Chief Michael Yates needs to step down. He does, however, hope that through this march and vigil, Jonesboro can become a more balanced community. 

"It's fundamentally, structurally imbalanced. We want to see that it's balanced and fair at every level. Where we can work together, be taxed together, police together, be a family together, be judged together. Let's be together," Reverend Jackson said.

Chavis Carter's mother was also in attendance at the march. She held hands with Reverend Jackson as they made their way from Haltom Street to the Justice Complex.

Reverend Jackson was in town from just after 5pm til around 6:45pm leading that march accompanied with prayer and song for Carter.

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