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Fraternal Order of Police wants William Darby’s murder conviction reversed

“All we are asking is the court of appeals to reverse this decision and send it back with the judge to give these instructions.”
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 10:59 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The National Fraternal Order of Police is defending convicted murderer and former Huntsville Police Officer, William Darby.

The FOP filed an amicus brief in support of Darby in December. The 32-page brief filed by the FOP says when it comes to the use of deadly force, law enforcement officers should be held to a different standard than a normal civilian.

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”The basics come down to in that situation it is not a question of whether or not it was self-defense that is a question of whether the law enforcement person did what he or she was trained to do and I think the department said he was trained to take that action,” said General Counsel of FOP, Larry James.

It has been a debate since April 3, 2018. Did William Darby do the right thing by shooting Jeffrey Parker- about a minute after arriving to the scene of a man who was suicidal?

A Madison County jury said he didn’t and Darby was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Now, The Fraternal Order of Police, which has more than 350,000 members says there was an error in this conviction.

“All we are asking is the court of appeals to reverse this decision and send it back with the judge to give these instructions,” said James.

In the amicus brief filed in December, the FOP argues Circuit Judge Donna Pate made an error by rejecting Darby’s request for jury instructions to include an officer is justified in using deadly force when a person refuses to drop a weapon, like Jeffrey Parker.

“I hope the court looks at this and says they have something we didn’t consider. We are going to require that to be considered,” said James.

James points out that Alabama does not have an officer use force of law, separate from other citizens. He says other states have reversed convictions when given instructions for officers.

Prosecutors have argued Darby faced no immediate threat in the time he was on the scene and Parker family attorney, Martin Weinberg agrees.

“That doesn’t hold water in this case because 2 senior offices had assessed the situation and had been on the sense long enough to make a call whether they were in danger or not,” said Weinberg.

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