Update: Clark Autopsy Has No Bearing on Barkley's Job Status, DPD Tells INDY | News

Update: Clark Autopsy Has No Bearing on Barkley's Job Status, DPD Tells INDY


Frank "Scooter Bug" Clark - PHOTO SUBMITTED
  • Photo submitted
  • Frank "Scooter Bug" Clark
An autopsy report obtained by the INDY from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner's Office confirms what a post-mortem photographed published by the paper several weeks ago seemed to suggest. Frank "Scooter Bug" Clark died November 22 in McDougald Terrace as a result of gunshot wounds to the head and thigh.

Here is the report in full:

Residents who told the INDY they witnessed what unfolded November 22 have always said Clark was running away from Master Officer Charles Barkley (a cop with a history, they claim, of terrorizing their community) when the fatal shots were fired, but the city's 5-Day Report seemed to tell a different story—that police were conversing with Clark when he grabbed for his waistband, struggled with officers and a shot rang out so they returned fire. Barkley and the two other officers involved in the incident, Christopher Goss and Monte Sutherland, remain on administrative leave pending the conclusion of an SBI investigation into Clark's death (the Durham City Council has requested that Governor Roy Cooper instruct the SBI to expedite the investigation).

Now that the cause of death has been confirmed, it is unclear just how the Durham PD and city government will respond. City Manager Tom Bonfield, who has the authority to appease residents who have demanded the release of personnel files associated with Barkley, Southerland and Goss, was expected to release a statement on that matter, but this email just came in, so it seems unlikely that a decision will be made anytime soon.
Additionally, a spokesman for the Durham PD says Barkley's employment status "has not changed" since the autopsy report was released and made public by the INDY and other media outlets and police chief C.J. Davis added that she is aware of the document, but that the "Medical Examiner's report is just one of several elements of the completed investigation that we are all anticipating," adding that it would be "premature" for the DPD to comment on the matter at this time.

The Clark family's attorney, Southern Coalition for Social Justice attorney Dave Hall, said that he was not surprised by the medical examiner's findings.

"The autopsy report does not reveal anything that we did not generally already know and believe—specifically that Frank was shot from behind while fleeing the police," he says.

And it also doesn't explain the shot the DPD alleges officers believed Clark fired at them (Hall noted that there was no gunshot residue found on Clark's body according to the autopsy or other indicators of him firing a gun before he was killed.

"Where is this mysterious gunshot?" Hall says.

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