Teen shot and killed by Marion police officers: Inside his difficult past

by: Zach Crenshaw Updated:

MARION, Ark. - Earlier this week two Marion Police officers were cleared in the shooting death of 16-year old Aries Clark.

The teen was in DCS custody at the time of his death.

FOX13 learned that Clark was there for counseling and l that he was not a violent kid.

So why was he holding a BB gun? Why did he refuse to drop it for nine minutes?

Only Aries knows those answers, but before the teen was ever a suspect, he was a victim.

"I know you got something going on with your family and we are here to help you," said a Marion Police Officer, pleading with Aries Clark.

The officer knew Clark had trouble at home.

"Aries man, I am your buddy I've talked to you before," said the officer. "Whatever you got going on we are here to help you out."

It was not the first time Clark had encountered police.

In a West Memphis police report from September 2015, Clark’s Junior High Principal called police because Aries, who was 14 years old at the time said he was afraid to go home because of his stepdad.

The teen told police Timothy Crowe slapped and punched him in the face.

Clark said Crowe “wrapped his arm around his neck and began choking him" until “he felt like he was going to pass out.”

The officer said Clark’s mother told him “multiple times that she witnessed Timothy Crowe choking her son.” 

The officer also noticed Clark had broken blood vessels in both of his eyes.

Multiple sources told FOX13 that incident and others like it are why Clark was in DCS custody.

Relatives said the 16-year-old was not welcomed in his own home.

FOX13's Zach Crenshaw asked Clark’s stepdad Timothy Crowe about the past on Friday.

"We were just working out something. That's it," said Crowe, who has been arrested eight times in the past seven years by West Memphis police.

When Clark's home was inspected by DCS, his grandmother told FOX13 they never got to the deeper issue.

"When children are having problems at home, you just don't go there and look in the refrigerator when you are social services," said Vickie Burns, Clark's grandmother.

When Clark returned to the services center with a BB gun, he came face to face with authority.

Most of Aries’ life authority had hurt, not helped him.

In that police report where Aries was choked, the officer’s last line said, “I attempted contact with the child abuse hot line, but did not receive an answer.”

Maybe that helps explain why police did not receive an answer from Aries.

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