On a dark suburban street in Jonesboro, Ark., last month, the police arrested a young man named Chavis Carter. They searched him, handcuffed him and put him in the back of a patrol car.
But what started as a routine arrest then took a fatal turn. As the officers were about to drive Mr. Carter to jail, they found him slumped over, his hands still cuffed behind his back, drenched in blood. According to the police report, he had fatally shot himself in the head.
In the weeks since the death of Mr. Carter, 21, heavy scrutiny has fallen on the police and their procedures, and calls for justice have lighted up Twitter and Facebook.