An Alabama police officer who stayed on his city’s payroll for two months after being convicted of murder resigned from the Huntsville Police Department.
Officer William Darby left of his own free will, the city told WAAY-TV on Friday. He had been on paid leave since his conviction on May 7 for shooting a suicidal man who pointed a gun at his head.
The city said putting Darby on paid leave was normal until its personnel policies and procedures could be completed. The Republican mayor of Huntsville and the chief of police publicly disagreed with the jury’s murder verdict.
An attorney for victim Jeffery Parker’s family said allowing Darby to resign rather than be fired immediately after the 2018 murder or after his murder conviction was unacceptable and “a strange and unnecessary distraction.”
“The Parker family looks forward to proceeding with the civil case and with the goal of holding Darby and the City of Huntsville accountable,” attorney Martin Weinberg said in a statement.
Huntsville officials did not provide additional details on Darby’s resignation. He is out on $ 100,000 bail while awaiting sentencing on August 20. Prosecutors said he faces 20 years to life in prison.
Darby shot Parker moments after joining two other officers who had responded to a 911 call from the man, who said he was armed and planned to commit suicide.
One of the officers, who has since left the force, testified that Parker was upset but spoke to her and did not pose an immediate threat despite the gun held to his head.
Jurors rejected the defense’s claims that the shooting was justified. A defense attorney said Darby will appeal.