Chavis Carter supporters hold vigil, prepare for lawsuit

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Family and friends of Chavis Carter gathered at Allen Park Sunday evening for a vigil to honor the 21-year-old who died July 28, 2012.

The family thanked those in attendance for their continued support during the past year.

"I'm still in so much pain. I have so much anger," said Carter's mother Teresa Rudd.

Supporters wearing shirts printed with pictures of Chavis and the phrase, "I Am Chavis Carter", prayed and released doves in remembrance of Chavis.

Rudd has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Jonesboro Police Chief Michael Yates, the two officers involved in the incident and the city of Jonesboro. The lawsuit requests damages for medical expenses and loss of life.

One of the lawyers representing Rudd attended the vigil. Cochran Firm lawyer Ursula Holmes says the complaint was filed July 26 by mail and the defendants will likely be served the summons within the week.

"If you look at the investigation, just all the facts that we've been given, none of them piece together to tell us what happened. You hear a lot of similarities between this story and Trayvon Martin, but the difference is we know what happened to Trayvon. We know exactly what happened. We don't know what happened to Chavis Carter, and I don't know how the police department can say they know what happened," Holmes said.

According to police, Carter was a passenger in a pickup truck that was stopped just before 10 p.m. July 28 on Haltom Street.

Police say Carter, who was handcuffed, shot himself in the head with a small .380 caliber cobra semi-automatic firearm that officers missed during two separate searches.

The Arkansas State Crime Lab ruled Carter's death a suicide.

Click here for detailed coverage of the Chavis Carter investigation.

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