Brother: 'Community wants change' after Durham man is shot
Posted November 23, 2016
Durham, N.C. — 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.