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Neighbors not surprised by deadly confrontation

Posted November 23

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— Neighbors who witnessed the death of a Durham man at the hands of police Tuesday afternoon and the mother of his infant daughter were not surprised to learn the identity of one of the officers in that clash.

Frank Nathaniel Clark, 34, died after being shot during a struggle with three officers. Two women, neither of whom wanted to be identified for fear of retribution, told WRAL News that Officer Christopher Goss and Officer Monte Southerland were talking with Clark near the intersection of Wabash and Dayton streets, but that when Master Officer Charles Barkley arrived the situation escalated.

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

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.

Lloyd said the man she knew was a good father. "I can honestly say, he was a good man," she said. "He was a good daddy."

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

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

Durham Police Chief C.J. Davis said the trio of officers heard a gunshot before firing on Clark.

Witnesses don't deny that Clark had a weapon, but said they did not see him reach for it or hear a shot.

"As he was about to turn around, they held him; they held him, a gun went off," a witness said. "He didn't shoot no gun. If he did have a gun, he didn't shoot it."

Lloyd couldn't be certain whether Clark had a weapon, but she said he did not deserve to die.

"If he was reaching for his waistband, if he did have a gun on him, his shirt’s small so you would’ve seen it," she said.

"Why did they have to kill him? Why you just couldn’t take him to jail," she asked.

Others said Clark's past is not the issue, but rather the constant intimidation they feel from by police.

"It's wrong, and there's nothing we can do," one witness said. "There's nothing we can do because these are the people we trust to protect us and to serve us."

A woman told WRAL News that Barkley fired multiple times.

"He tried to empty his clip on him. The other officers were like 'Man, stop shooting man. Stop shooting,'" she said.

Durham Mayor Bill Bell, who learned of the incident during a city work session, asked residents to withhold judgment until all the facts come out.

"As his family, we need justice. We want justice. And we’re going to get justice," Lloyd said through tears as she cradled his youngest daughter.

"He got kids out here. He got a baby. And this was his heart."

13 Comments

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  • RB Redmond Nov 28, 11:29 p.m.
    user avatar

    Listen, we ALL know if you resist or reach for anything but the stars, you're putting yourself in danger, so just don't do it!!!
    Whether you agree or not, comply at the time, and hash out any differences in a courtroom in front of witnesses.

  • Steve Moore Nov 23, 9:55 p.m.
    user avatar

    And what do you think would happen if the police just STOPPED patrolling these crime infested neighborhoods ? Let these communities fend for themselves and see what happens.

  • Vince DiSena Nov 23, 9:33 p.m.
    user avatar

    So, career criminals are good people too. Great story WRAL. How about inviting one to live in your home.

  • Axle Dane Nov 23, 8:05 p.m.
    user avatar

    Worthless biased story!!!!!!!!!!! This is a perfect example of what people are tired of! Sorry reporting! You already reported he reached for his waistband and a gun was found near the suspects body... 1+1= reaching for gun!
    Why put all this junk trying to stir the pot! Can't believe all these news people didn't learn from their biased election reporting...

  • Ethan Mathews Nov 23, 7:37 p.m.
    user avatar

    Why not get a statement from the officers families saying how good they are? This article is the prime reason why there's so many officers getting killed.

  • Daryl Mac Nov 23, 7:07 p.m.
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    Wow .. now thats bad reporting. Shame on the writer and the editor for allowing a baseless clsim to headline an article.

  • Kevin Weidner Nov 23, 6:54 p.m.
    user avatar

    Great Job WRAL.
    Your bias knows no bounds!
    Fred Fletcher would be ashamed.

  • Robin Dean Nov 23, 6:01 p.m.
    user avatar

    If he had any gun, he was a convicted felon, so he was committing another felony just by having a gun. Why would he need a gun? Sad that he is dead, but if he did have a gun he was shot due to his own fault! If he had a gun he was willfully committing a serious crime and should have put his behind on the ground and surrendered to the police in order to not be shot.

  • John White Nov 23, 5:48 p.m.
    user avatar

    Lloyd said the man she knew was a good father. "I can honestly say, he was a good man," she said. "He was a good daddy."

    Last time I checked a good man does not go to jail for 5 years. They have a career and go to work not jail. Jeeze what the heck if criminals are good men then what are people that never go to jail? Saints???

  • Max Fan Nov 23, 5:41 p.m.
    user avatar

    People cried for mercy, love, acceptance but never repent. Will such a faith work?

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