City seeks disciplinary hearing for Huntsville Police Officer convicted of murder

William Darby was found guilty on Friday.

Posted: May 11, 2021 2:28 PM
Updated: May 11, 2021 8:10 PM

The city of Huntsville has issued a notice of a request for a formal disciplinary hearing for Huntsville Police Officer William Darby, according to a spokesperson.

Darby will be served with the notice, the spokesperson said.

He was convicted of murder on Friday for the shooting death of Jeffrey Parker. The conviction is a cause for disciplinary action, according to the city's personnel manual. 

At this time, it's unclear when that disciplinary hearing will take place, but for now Darby is on paid admnistrative leave. 

"How do you get convicted of murder and then you are paid behind it?" Aletha Hampton said.

"When a police officer is arrested and convicted, all benefits should stop. We should not have to pay," Judy Garrett added.

People said they are upset their tax dollars are being used to pay a convicted murderer’s salary.

"To me, that's like a kick in the stomach," Hampton said.

Darby could face from 20 years to life in prison shooting and killing Parker during a suicide call in 2018. He was convicted on Friday, but then placed on paid administrative leave on Monday.

"We don't get it if we go to jail. Our money stops, so they shouldn't be above the law," Garrett said.

According to the city policy, Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray requested to put Officer William Darby on paid leave. The city says that request was then approved by Mayor Tommy Battle, the city's director of human resources and the city administrator.

"He don't need pay. His pay should be diminished at the time he was convicted of murder," Hampton said.

Alabama Democratic Party Executive Director Wade Perry released a statement saying Darby "shouldn't get another day’s pay. Fire him. And the police chief.”

The city of Huntsville said it had no comment on the Democratic Party's call to fire Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray.

Meanwhile, the Madison County Republican Party says it supports the Huntsville Police department and the chief. They had no comment when it came to Darby's paid administrative leave because they wanted to talk to the police chief first to find out his reasoning.

People in the area say they still support the Huntsville Police Department.

"I thank God we have our police officers and that when we dial that 911 we know someone is going to show up and help," Garrett said.

But, some say their trust was broken by this decision.

"How can you trust that the police and the chief are going to make the right decision in protecting you, protecting your tax dollars and everything? I don't care if he was a former police officer. He should not be paid at all. He should be considered as a citizen," Hampton said.

WAAY 31 filed an open records request with the city to find out the exact amount of money  Darby is still being paid while on administrative leave.

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