Officer Indicted For Murder After Dept. Clears Him For Shooting Armed Suspect

Christopher Berg

Officer William Darby has been indicted for murder after he was cleared by his department.

Huntsville, AL - A Huntsville police officer was indicted for murder on Friday after his department cleared him for shooting an armed suspect.

The indictment stems from an April 3 shooting after 49-year-old Jeffrey Parker called police and told them he was armed and suicidal, according to

Officers responded and tried talking to Parker as he confronted them while holding his gun.

The officers ordered Parker to drop his weapon, and he refused. Officer Darby then shot him.

One month after the shooting, the police department announced that Officer Darby was cleared of wrongdoing in the shooting.

Chief Mark McMurray told the media that the shooting was in accordance with his training. Officers do not have to wait for an armed person to point a weapon at them or shoot before using deadly force.

"Officer Darby was called upon to make split second decisions in a nightmare scenario, the likes of which most people will never experience. His training allowed him and his fellow officer to survive as he rushed bravely, without hesitation, into one of the most volatile and unpredictable situations a police officer is called upon to face," Chief McMurray said.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle also released a statement in support of Officer Darby.

"Our hearts and sympathies are with the Parker family as they are forced to relive this time of loss. And to Officer Darby, you have our full support. As a valued and responsible member of our force, he acted in accordance with his training. Please accord him the same presumption of innocence as all Americans are entitled," the mayor said.

The reasoning behind the indictment is not clear, but statements from the prosecutor and family attorney suggest that they believe that mentally ill people cannot pose a deadly threat.

According to, Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard told reporters that he was "gravely concerned" after seeing the details of the shooting, which caused them to believe it may not be justified.

The Parker family attorney told, "This incident centers on the growing concern about the mistreatment of the mentally ill by law enforcement. We have to put more resources into training law enforcement on how to deal with the mentally ill."

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The reasoning behind the indictment is not clear, but statements from the prosecutor and family attorney suggest that they believe that mentally ill people cannot pose a deadly threat.

WRONG! If they knew he had mental issues, why does he have a gun? Prosecutors like these are going to kill off our Police force.. These attorneys really need to face these situations IN PERSON before passing judgement on something they HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED!!! God I hate these guys.... If an officer hesitates, he/she can be killed in an instant. This charge is the kind of thing that make them HESITATE! Soon all the GOOD cops will leave and be replaced by WANNA BE THUGS... You think you have problems now?


The statement that mentally ill people cannot pose a deadly threat has got to be one of the most inaccurate things I've ever heard. Has anyone even thought that they can be even MORE of a threat depending on the illness???? If someone has a gun in their hand that is unable to understand what the consequences will be if he killed someone and the only thought crossing their mind is what they think they need to do right then, then I would think that makes them EVEN MORE dangerous. Dealing with someone who is mentally ill that is in crisis mode or being aggressive is one of the most volatile and unpredictable situations that a police officer deals with. Add into the mix a weapon and that just escalates it and expedites the officer's decision on what needs to be done. Is a police officer supposed to wait until a shot is fired at him/her before acting? Or God forbid, the suspect shoots an innocent bystander?

The fact is officer responding to this type of call is not very likely to know exactly what this suspect has been diagnosed with, whether they are on or off their meds, whether they've got a history of being violent if off their meds (unless a frequent flier), or if they're possibly on some other drug(s) that render their prescribed medication utterly useless.



Any prosecutor who believes that mentally ill individuals are incapable of posing a deadly threat should be immediately removed from office on the grounds that they are demonstrably and manifestly unfit to hold any position which affords them the opportunity to make charging decisions or issue instructions relating to criminal prosecutions. Such a presumption, frankly, if this report is accurate, is one of the most ridiculous and naive statements I have ever heard from someone involved either in law enforcement or the legal profession. If a lawyer really has suggested this, it's astonishing. It's simply laughable.


So, the folks that have committed all of these mass shootings are sane?!!!

I don't think one need look any farther than to the nearest mass shooting relative to Madison County to know that those who have mental issues most certainly CAN and DO hurt others.


QUOTE "mentally ill people cannot pose a deadly threat." UNQUOTE

so let's give every depressed psycho a conceal carry permit... they don't pose a death threat... phfff