Alabama cop who murdered suicidal man jailed for 25 years

Alabama police officer Ben Derby, 28, was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment after murdering a suicidal man who had called 911 for help.

Derby, convicted in May by a jury, never admitted wrongdoing and both his police department and city officials backed him to the bitter end. They refused to release bodycam footage to the public, paid him his salary until two months after his conviction, and the city of Huntsville provided an extra $125,000 for his legal defense. "I do not regret my action" he told reporters.

"At every turn, Mr. Darby refused to take any responsibility for what he did, and he would never admit that he did anything wrong," Gann said Friday, according to The New York Times. "There was no remorse from him about the killing. There was no acknowledgment from him about the gravity of what he did. That was one of the most disturbing things about the case."

Parker's loved ones praised Genisha Pegues, one of Darby's former colleagues, for trying to keep Parker alive in the precious few minutes before Darby killed him. Pegues and a second officer, Justin Beckles, were attempting to de-escalate the tense situation when Darby arrived.

Two veteran police officers tried to talk down suicidal Jeffrey Louis Parker, 49, who was holding a flare gun to his own head. Derby—a recent recruit with only a year on the beat—arrived at the scene, berated them for trying to de-escalate, ignored their seniority, and pushed past them to shoot Parker in the face with his shotgun within seconds of his arrival. According to the transcripts, "Parker had never moved from his spot on the couch", had "made no threatening statements or gestures," and "never moved the flare gun away from his head."

A police "incident review board" cleared Darby of wrongdoing following the shooting and punished the other officers instead. One left the force; both testified against Derby at his trial.

The best reportage on the case was posted to Reddit by one of the jurors.

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