Two of the three officers involved in the fatal shooting of Frank Nathaniel Clark had been suspended in the last two years, but still received annual raises, according to information provided by the Durham Police Department.
Officers Charles Barkley, Monte Southerland and Christopher Goss were involved in the Nov. 22 encounter with Clark that that left the 34-year-old Durham man dead near the corner of Dayton and Wabash streets in the McDougald Terrace public housing community.
A city report says the three officers stopped and questioned Clark around 12:30 p.m. It says Clark reached for his waistband and that a struggle ensued. Officers say they heard a gunshot and that Southerland fell to the ground, prompting Barkley to fire his gun.
Reketa Bagley, who said she saw the encounter, said Barkley was patting Clark down when a gun went off. Police shouted “gun” and Clark “took off running,” and was hit with gunfire in the back of his head, she said.
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In general, state law limits what personnel information municipalities can release on public employees. Some of the public information that can be released includes dates of hire, increases and decreases in salaries, along with promotions, demotions, transfers, suspensions, separations, or other changes in position classification within the city.
Information provided by the Police Department indicates that Southerland, 43, has been with the department since August 2006. He was suspended in March. In August he received a 3.25 percent “pay performance increase” to an annual salary of $53,278.26.
Southerland is one of 23 of the Police Department’s 630 employees who have been suspended so far this year.
Officers are suspended for violations of city of Durham and Police Department policies and procedures. Reasons for suspensions can include substance abuse, excessive use of force, tardiness, speeding and crashes.
A “pay performance increase” is an across-the-board increase that all officers receive on their anniversary hire date if they are meeting expectations or better on their annual employee evaluation, Regina Youngblood, director of the city’s Human Resources Department, said by email.
“There are several factors that determine a person’s overall performance rating. Given those other factors, obtaining a suspension may not necessarily cause the individual to receive an overall rating that is below meeting expectations,” Youngblood wrote.
Barkley, 49, has been with the Police Department since January 1997. He was suspended in April 2014. A total of 33 officers were suspended that year. About a week before his suspension, Barkley received a 3 percent “pay performance increase,” to $60,904.11. His current annual salary is $64,613. 17.
Goss, 39, has been with the Police Department since April 1997. He receives an annual salary of 53,278.26. No suspensions were noted on his employment records.