Durham police officers cleared in shooting, residents don't buy it

EMBED </>More Videos

Three Durham police officers have been cleared in the Frank Clark shooting.

Three Durham police officers have been cleared in the officer-involved fatal shooting of Frank Clark in November in the McDougald Terrace community.

Stay on top of breaking news stories with the ABC11 News App

The police department found that the officers, M.D. Southerland, C.S. Barkley and C.Q. Goss, did not violate policy or procedure.

In March, the Durham County District Attorney's office said no criminal charges would be filed against the officers involved in the death of the 34-year-old Clark.

To the people who knew Clark, however, the case is far from closed.

"It's like the story is getting cold and it's going down and the officers are getting away with it, and I feel like that's wrong. That's totally wrong," one woman told ABC11.

She and another woman claim to have been there when the shooting happened Nov. 22. They maintain that the official report is way off base.

The women did not want their names used or faces shown, telling ABC11 that they feared retaliation from police.

They challenged the report released Friday in a number of places.

The official narrative is this:

That during a struggle between two officers and Clark, a gun went off. It's unclear whose, but one of the officers thought he'd been hit in the knee.

It turns out, that wasn't the case. But he pushed Clark away, and Clark, who at that point had his gun out, fired what police later described as a "second shot" as he turned to run away.

And that's when Master Officer Barkley opened fire. Six shots, two of them hitting Clark.

The report says that after a full investigation and two canvasses by the State Bureau of Investigation, no eyewitnesses turned up to challenge the officers' account of happened.

But in large part, that's what people ABC11 talked to are so confused by and frustrated about, including a woman, who claimed she saw the whole thing.

"I sat here, in this window, since they said there was no eyewitnesses," the woman said. "It happened right here. We watched it from beginning to the end.

His gun was on his waist. He never grabbed it. He tried to run," she continued. "Whoever's gun went off in the midst, it was one of the officers. When the gun went off, they shoved him. They said, "gun!" and they started shooting from there."

One big question remains.

Will the officers involved be reassigned? McDougald Terrace residents say that's a critical step in building trust in that community.

ABC11 asked Durham Police for an interview Friday. That request was declined.

Related Topics:
officer involved shootingshootingdurham policeDurham
(Copyright ©2017 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments