City of Huntsville, DA’s office headed to court in dispute over fatal police shooting records

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The City of Huntsville will be in court Friday, arguing with an unlikely foe, the Madison County District Attorney’s office.

The dispute centers the DA’s office request for records on a fatal police shooting that led to a murder indictment against Huntsville Police Department officer William Darby in August.

Darby fatally shot Jeffery Parker at Parker’s home on Deramus Avenue in April. The shooting followed an encounter with police that began when Parker called 911 and told a dispatcher he was suicidal.

The Huntsville Police Department conducted a review of the shooting, which is standard. Darby was cleared in May.

But Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard, who attended the review, said he had concerns.

The district attorney’s office brought the case to a grand jury and Darby was indicted for murder in August.

He is set for a trial that begins Oct. 29.

But attorneys for the DA’s office and the City of Huntsville will be in court Friday, asking a judge to decide if the city has to turn over to prosecutors the shooting review board records.

Attorneys for the City of Huntsville says Darby had to testify before the review board, or face losing his job. They argue that testimony could be unfairly used against him at trial and could chill future proceedings with officers reluctant to testify.

The DA’s office says the review board record is part of the case and has to be turned over, in large part because it’s considered exculpatory --  favorable to Darby’s criminal case. The DA’s office says there is no legal basis for the City of Huntsville not to comply with the subpoena seeking the records.