The surprise verdict came after city officials had cleared the cop.
Meet Huntsville police officer William Ben Darby, convicted murderer.
The officer, William Darby, who had been strongly defended by the Police Department and cleared of wrongdoing by a city review board, will face 20 years to life in prison when he is sentenced for the killing of Jeffrey Parker, 49, on April 3, 2018, according to prosecutors.
The verdict stunned city leaders, who had maintained that Officer Darby was justified in using deadly force. The Huntsville City Council had voted to dedicate $125,000 in public money for the officer’s criminal defense, according to AL.com. And police officers throughout Alabama had been watching the case because of how frequently they respond to mental health crises.The New York Times, May 7, 2021
Darby’s conviction is yet another symptom of the many deep problems in American cop culture.
But there is some good news in the conviction:
- Madison County, Alabama, District Attorney Rob Broussard had the integrity and courage to prosecute Darby.
- And Darby’s former cop partner testified against him.*
- And jurors returned the verdict in just a couple of hours.
Darby’s former partner, Genisha Pegues, has resigned from the Huntsville Police Department. Unfortunately, this says to me that she has probably been the target of blow-back from pigs in the department for testifying against Darby. (To quote Bill Maher: “I might be wrong. But I’m not.”)
But her departure from Huntsville PD could be good news for the rest of us; she has applied to the FBI. They could use more people with her integrity, and I wish her a successful new career.