Alabama officer convicted of murdering suicidal man while on duty

An Alabama police officer was convicted Friday of murdering a suicidal man while on duty.

Three years ago, Huntsville police officer William Ben Darby shot and killed Jeff Parker, who was suicidal and had called the police for help, reported.

The Madison County jury debated for two hours, and Circuit Judge Donna Pate set Darby’s bail at $100,000, ordering him straight to jail from the courtroom.

Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray said in a press release that he is “shocked” by the decision.

“We are in the first stages of shock,” McMurray said. “While we thank the jury for their service in this difficult case, I do not believe Officer Darby is a murderer.”

“Officers are forced to make split-second decisions every day, and Officer Darby believed his life and the lives of other officers were in danger. Any situation that involves a loss of life is tragic. Our hearts go out to everyone involved.”  

Parker called the police on April 3, 2018, saying that he was suicidal and had a gun to his head. Genisha Pegues, a senior officer to Darby, was on the scene first and talking to the man.

Pegues was one of the officers who testified against Darby in court and said the situation was being deescalated before he arrived, according to

Body camera footage from Darby shows him running into the house with a shotgun and shooting Parker within 11 seconds of entering.

“Point your f—ing gun at him,” Darby yelled at Pegues before ordering Parker to drop his weapon, which was not aimed at the officers, the footage showed.

When Parker didn’t drop the gun, Darby shot him in the face.

Defense attorney Robert Tuten argued that Darby had to shoot Parker because he did not follow orders and he could have turned the gun on the officers at any second.

Prosecutors argued that Darby shot Parker simply for not obeying his orders.

“An innocent man was murdered,” prosecutor Tim Gann said, according to “He called for help and he got Ben Darby.”

Tags Alabama deaths in police custody Jeff Parker police brutality police killings Police shootings William Ben Darby

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