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Brother: 'Community wants change' after Durham man is shot

Posted November 23

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— Family and friends are voicing their frustrations and concerns one day after police shot and killed a Durham man.

Frank Nathaniel Clark, 34, died after being shot during a struggle with three officers. Durham Police Chief C.J. Davis said the officers – Charles Barkley, Monte Southerland and Christopher Goss – stopped to talk to Clark when he reached for a gun in his waistband and they heard a shot.

About a dozen demonstrators marched a little over a mile from Fayetteville Road, near the McDougald Terrace community where Clark was shot, to Durham Police Headquarters, voicing their concerns about what they describe as a broken relationship between Durham police officers and the community.

The demonstrators took their call for justice to the front door of police headquarters before returning to the street and forming a circle in the middle of Chapel Hill Street, shutting down the intersection between Duke Street and Gregson Street.

“Not only do I want change, the community wants change too,” said Clark’s brother, Michael Clark.

Michael Clark said he and his brother, who was known to the community as “Bug,” grew up in the McDougald Terrace neighborhood. He said he wants Durham police officers to be more respectful to residents and that many who joined the march feel intimidated by police.

“The physical contact with the community, how they go about it; there’s another way instead of just hopping out, saying ‘put your hands up’, searching and patting you down for guns,” Michael Clark said.

Witnesses told WRAL News that Southerland and Goss were talking with Frank Clark near the intersection of Wabash and Dayton streets Tuesday afternoon, but that when Barkley arrived the situation escalated.

"Barkley's been messing with him for some years," Jasmine Lloyd, Clark's girlfriend said.

Barkley has been with the Durham Police Department since January 1997. His record shows a single suspension, in April of 2014.

Clark, the father of four girls, had a long criminal record, including charges of assault, trespassing and drug possession dating to 1999, according to court records. His most recent conviction – on charges of drug and weapons possession – resulted in a five-year jail sentence. He got out in April 2015.

Many of the protesters who took to the streets Wednesday night said they don’t feel safe around Durham police officers.

“This community deserves safety and community policing has not created more safety. It has led directly to the death of Frank Clark,” said demonstrator Serena Sebring.

During the demonstration, Frank Clark’s family listed some demands that included an independent autopsy, the firing of the three officers involved in the incident and a call for residents to file police complaints of any wrongdoing by Durham officers working in the McDougald Terrace area.

“There’s a lot of stuff that’s going on that people don’t know about, that’s been covered up, and we’re just trying to push it all the way to the forefront,” said Michael Clark.

All three officers were placed on leave with pay, and the State Bureau of Investigation will investigate the shooting, a standard procedure after an officer fires a weapon in the line of duty.

Organizers of Wednesday’s protest said they plan to have more demonstrations in front of Durham Police Headquarters because they want their voices heard.

19 Comments

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  • Marilyn Loftin Nov 25, 4:22 a.m.
    user avatar

    No Al Sharpton, no Jesse Jackson, no NAACP. Even they know it was a justified shooting.

  • Joshua Hall Nov 25, 2:23 a.m.
    user avatar

    I know for a fact this man sold heroin. I knew him before recovery years ago. Shouldn't have reached for his gun. Don't blame the police, even though the liberal media is begging for it.

  • John White Nov 24, 6:14 p.m.
    user avatar

    If you want change start holding the criminals responsible for their actions. Start seeing all crime and not just when a police officer shoots someone. I mean the whole community is blind to crime unless an officer kills someone then suddenly everyone has seen it and wants the officer heads on a plate. Don't be calling criminals good people and calling the police bad people. Don't you see how backwards that is. The officers are not there to ignore the crime they are there to prevent it. But when you are a criminal the officers are the bad people because you are bad. The people see the officers as hassling them but they are just doing the job. Protecting people and if you are a bad person that means they will hassle you because you are bad. If you are walking the streets with a gun in your belt without a permit to carry then you are wrong. A convicted felon is not allowed to own a gun.

  • James Hicks Nov 24, 3:12 p.m.
    user avatar

    "Family and friends are voicing their frustrations and concerns one day after police shot and killed a Durham man."

    I have to wonder, and I'm not trying to be mean or hateful, how much time they spent voicing their frustrations and concerns to him about his criminal activity.

    I hate to see anyone die, for whatever reason. But, there's an old saying: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

    I'll leave on this thought: In the first story about this incident, a resident of the area was talking to reporters and didn't want to give her name 'for fear of retaliation'.

    As long as you are unwilling to face the bullies in your neighborhood, you can expect the violence to continue.

  • Stacie Hagwood Nov 24, 2:15 p.m.
    user avatar

    Just once I would like to hear a reporter ask a compassionate yet poignant question: "why did your boyfriend feel the need to carry a gun?" Instead of just taking everything she says at face value.

  • Robert Lewis Nov 24, 12:35 p.m.
    user avatar

    Durham used to be a hard working honest city where people respected the law.

  • James Colvert Nov 24, 11:46 a.m.
    user avatar

    The circle continues. The community becomes larger which brings in more police. The community get more crime which causes the police to become more vigilant. The community then becomes more violent and the police respond with harsher violence.

  • Jeffrey Derry Nov 24, 11:22 a.m.
    user avatar

    No hope in dope

  • Ethan Mathews Nov 24, 11:11 a.m.
    user avatar

    If the community wants change, change comes within. Most of them in that community are career government recipients. I ask you again, why should someone receive free assistance their entire life if they aren't mentally or physically handicapped. What are they doing to better themselves? Working a primary job and possibly a part time job would help, enroll in DTCC and get an education? First and foremost, if you are a convicted felon it is against the law to carry a weapon. There's a reason the police have a heavy presence in that area and it ins't because the resident's are mostly black.

  • Danielle Cockrum Nov 24, 10:13 a.m.
    user avatar

    My heart goes out to ALL involved... the family lost a loved one, 4 children lost a father, 3 cops are now off-duty (and short-handing the rest of the force) simply for doing their jobs, 2 streets were closed due to demonstrations, and 1 man, who had recently served his time and was released with a second chance at life... wasted that opportunity and is now dead.

    His life, his gun, his choice= his funeral.

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