Demonstrators protest Durham police shooting

Thursday, November 24, 2016
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The family of Frank Clark wants answers from the City of Durham.

DURHAM (WTVD) -- Protestors on the steps of police headquarters Wednesday evening closed down a portion of Chapel Hill Street for more than an hour a day after a man was shot by Durham police officers.

Francine Ray, the sister of 34-year-old Frank Nathaniel Clark, led the group.

"We actually had to watch my brother be sent in a body bag, so it's been very emotional," Ray said in an exclusive interview with ABC11.

Demonstrators marched from the neighborhood Wednesday evening to Durham Police headquarters chanting, "no justice no peace." A list of demands for the City of Durham was presented.


Clark was killed on Tuesday in a police-involved shooting near Wabash and Dayton streets in the McDougald Terrace area.

On Tuesday, around 12:30 p.m. Durham police say three uniformed officers were patrolling the area because of a recent increase in crime there. They came across Clark on foot and stopped to talk to him.

In a news conference hours after the deadly encounter, Durham Police Chief C.J. Davis said during that conversation, the officers saw Clark make "a sudden movement" toward the waistband of his pants.

There was a struggle between the officers and Clark. Police said they heard a gunshot and responded with gunfire. Chief Davis was not able to immediately answer whether all the officers fired their weapons or how many shots were fired.

Watch the full press conference

Clark died at the scene. The officers have since been identified as Master Officer C.S. Barkley, Officer M.D. Southerland and Officer C.Q. Gross. Officer Southerland suffered a leg injury during the struggle, but was not shot. He is now out of the hospital.

Police say a gun, that did not belong to DPD was found next to Clark's body after the struggle.


Clark's sister and residents in the area say Clark was not armed, although they could not specify how they know that.

Still, Ray and dozens took to the street to protest what happened.

"This protest is for justice for my brother Frank Clark and also we have some demands from the family," Ray said.

Ray said they want a private autopsy done on her brother's body. They also want the city to pay for the funeral. Ray said her brother leaves behind two daughters and believes the city should also take care of them.

"We want their college and their activity also to be paid for by the city," Ray said.

She also said the family has retained an attorney.


DPD is releasing little information about the officers involved, saying only that they are on administrative duty.

Ten years ago, the News & Observer reported that Officer Barkley had been accused of using excessive force while breaking up a fight between two girls at Jordan High School. Last year, the paper reported claims it said were substantiated by internal affairs, that Officer Southerland had used excessive force on a teenage boy.

Clark, however, also has a past. He has a criminal record dating to 1999. Charges on his record involve violence, drugs, and guns.

Wednesday night's protest ended peacefully, with the promise that the group would be planning more demonstrations in the future.


Earlier in the day ABC11 spoke to Mayor Bill Bell to get his take on what has happened in his city and the planned protest.

"I hope and I'll trust that it'll be peaceful. That's part of the environment that we're in today I wouldn't expect any less to happen in Durham. I expect it to be controlled, I expect it to peaceful, to be respectful," the mayor said.

"You have a person who has died, lost his life. He has a family, and of course you have officers involved, think of them also and the roles that they play," Bell added. "I don't have any problem with people protesting I only hope that they would respect the moment, respect the families and do it in a peaceful way."

He also noted that the city council only just approved the use of body cameras on police officers the night before the officer-involved shooting.

"I've been a strong supporter of body cameras. Unfortunately it's taken us a certain amount of time to do due diligence," Bell said. "Obviously, would have hoped they would have been available prior to this."

When asked about body cameras during Tuesday's news conference, Chief Davis said they hope to have cameras on officers in the new year, starting in the district where the officer-involved shooting happened. She asked for anyone with cell phone video to come forward, since there is no dash camera video available either.

The SBI is investigating the shooting, which is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation at (919) 779-8188.

ABC11's Jon Camp and Stephanie Lopez contributed to this report.

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