An Alabama police officer who remained on his city’s payroll for two months after being convicted of murder has resigned from the Huntsville Police Department.
Officer William Darby left on his own, the city told WAAY-TV on Friday. He had been on paid leave since his conviction on May 7 for shooting a suicidal man with a gun on his head.
The city said placing Darby on paid leave was normal until its personnel policies and procedures were completed. The Republican mayor of Huntsville and the police chief publicly disapproved of the jury’s murder verdict.
A lawyer for the victim’s family Jeffery Parker said allowing Darby to resign instead of being fired either immediately after the 2018 murder or after his murder conviction was unacceptable and “a bizarre and unnecessary distraction.”
“The Parker family look forward to continuing in the civil case and in order to hold Darby and the city of Huntsville accountable,” attorney Martin Weinberg said in a statement.
Huntsville officials have not given any further details about Darby’s resignation. He is out on $ 100,000 bail pending conviction on August 20. Prosecutors said he could face 20 years in life.
Darby shot Parker moments after joining two other officers who answered a 911 call from the man, who said he was armed and intended to kill himself.
One of the officers, who has since left the force, said Parker was upset but spoke with her and posed no immediate threat despite the gun he was holding over his head.
Jurors rejected defense claims that the shooting was justified. A defense attorney said Darby would appeal.