The DOJ has ruled that ATF Special Agent William Clark's shooting of a neighbor in 2008 in response to a domestic dispute was justified. However, Clark is facing second-degree murder charges.
Last month, law enforcement officers held an unprecedented rally in Washington, D.C., in support of a federal agent who has been charged with murder in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
ATF Special Agent William Clark was charged with second-degree murder after he shot and fatally wounded a man outside of his condo in 2008. In that incident, Clark came to the aid of a female neighbor, Marguerite Duncan, who reportedly ran to him for protection in order to escape her naked, assaultive boyfriend, Marcus Sukow. Sukow was aware that Clark was a federal law enforcement officer, but reportedly ignored his lawful commands and engaged in violent behavior.
According to reports, Sukow threatened to retrieve a firearm and shoot Duncan, slammed large paving stones off her car, punched the hood of her car repeatedly, and ultimately retrieved an 18-inch metal flashlight that he used to smash Duncan's side view mirror. After Duncan ran into the back seat of Clark's vehicle for safety, Sukow allegedly struck Clark's vehicle with the flashlight and then charged Clark at close range. As Sukow attempted to strike Clark with the flashlight, Clark responded by shooting Sukow five times and stopped the attack.
Clark administered CPR to Sukow and kept him alive until the ambulance arrived. Sukow ultimately died hours later at the hospital. The medical examiner's toxicology report concluded that Sukow was intoxicated and under the influence of narcotics at the time the incident occurred.
While the DOJ has ruled that the shooting was justified, U.S. Virgin Island authorities disagree. Some say the prosecution is a reprisal for federal corruption investigations.
More than 100 people, including federal agents from numerous agencies, participated in the October rally. Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), says, "The American law enforcement community is outraged that the U.S. Virgin Islands prosecutor seems more intent on punishing American cops than women beaters."
FLEOA has recommended to the territorial governor of the islands that he request the Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General be brought in to investigate the case. The USVI declined to do so.
Adler is asking American law enforcement officers to support Clark. "We all take a very noble and honorable oath to uphold the laws of our constitution, and we can't allow a U.S. territory to trample on the sanctity of that oath," he says.