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First Responders
Stand with Darby
First Responders
Classroom
Alabama
Created April 6th, 2022

My name is Keelin Darby. I am a police sergeant in the State of Alabama, and the wife of Huntsville Police Officer Ben Darby.

 

Officer Ben Darby responded to a suicide-by-cop scenario in 2018. After recognizing that his partners were not utilizing sound officer safety tactics by placing themselves in a potentially deadly situation without cover and concealment within a few feet of the armed subject, without their firearms drawn, Officer Darby placed himself in front of his partners and gave multiple warnings to the subject to put his gun down, which he was pointing at his head. After making a furtive movement with his head, shoulders, and firearm and after believing that his life and the lives of his partners were in imminent threat of great bodily harm or death, Officer Darby shot the subject, who was a known white supremacist. It was later discovered that the subject told his neighbor (a witness) that he intended on luring police officers into his home to kill them because he hated cops.

 

After an Incident Review Board was conducted by the Huntsville Police Department, the department found that Officer Darby’s actions were within policy and justified under the rule of law. The first two officers were sent back to the academy for remedial training and later resigned. Officer Darby returned to work, and within 2 months a secret grand jury was convened by the district attorney. Officer Darby was charged with murder. Officer Darby was given a plea deal consisting of probation and NO CUSTODY time if he accepted an aggravated manslaughter conviction, which he refused. The police chief, city council, and mayor of Huntsville supported Ben Darby and paid the initial legal fees.

 

During the trial, the judge prevented exculpatory evidence from being heard by the jury, including relevant testimony by the neighbor and others, as well as applicable case law that would have exonerated Officer Ben Darby (Graham v. ConnerTennessee V. Garner, Montoute v. Carr, Garcynski v. Palm Beach Sheriff's Office). This trial was closed to the public—not open to family, friends, or me, due to Covid restrictions. He was denied qualified immunity and after multiple plea deals consisting of NO prison time, my husband went to trial. During the trial, the DA compared Officer Darby to a regular civilian who barged into a random person’s house, shooting, and killing them. Officer Ben Darby was sentenced to 25 years.

My husband now sits in an Alabama prison along with pedophiles, gang members, and career criminals. The National FOP wrote a brief and legal response to this case, along with Chief McMurray of the Huntsville Police Department. This catastrophic situation has devastated our family and left us in significant financial crisis as legal fees continue to mount while we continue our efforts to appeal his conviction in this ongoing legal battle to free my husband. Any help from our supporters as we share our fundraiser with our networks would be greatly appreciated as this miscarriage of justice continues each day that he spends behind bars. 

Updates

November 2nd, 2023
Keelin Darby, Organizer

There is good news and bad news.

Good news is there will not be another trial and Ben is not facing life in prison. The bad news is Ben took a plea deal.

Why would an innocent man plea guilty to anything?

Ben was looking at 20 years to life in prison, again.

The prosecution proved they did not have a problem lying to the jury the first time. In one of the DA’s most recent interviews, he blatantly lied to the public stating that Ben did not follow his training, despite trainer after trainer testifying the contrary. The interviewer asked the DA point blank if he would seek to have relevant police training case law withheld from the next jury like they did the first time. The DA said he absolutely would. Ben was looking at a malicious prosecution and unfair trial, again.

The first trial was negatively affected by the George Floyd incident. This time around there was a police shooting one city over that would have negatively affected the jury pool, again.

The prosecution approached Ben’s legal team and offered 3 years of probation to plead guilty to manslaughter. This was a shock and Ben was given a week to decide. This was one of the hardest weeks of Ben’s life. He sought wise counsel, wrestled with the options, and ultimately chose not to roll the dice on the rest of his life in prison. Ben was a political prisoner once, and he did not want to be one again.

Ben followed his training and the law. He made a split-second decision that saved his life and the lives of other officers. This is considered justifiable homicide by a peace officer in the performance of their duties…well, by just and honorable people that are not political animals. The prosecution said for years this was murder, now they say it was reckless manslaughter. Their slander doesn’t change the truth.

Ben and the family would like to thank all of you for your support over the years. Every donation, every prayer, every phone call had a part in an innocent man being freed from prison. Because of your support, the wrongful murder conviction was overturned, and Ben is not spending the next two decades in prison. Now Ben can live with his wife and build a family, thanks to your support.

Also, Darby v. Alabama is case precedent in the state so every law enforcement officer and their family can be better protected from malicious prosecution for doing their job. There is a lot to be said for that.

What was meant for evil can be used for good.

Take care and God bless,

Stand with Darby Team

March 24th, 2023
Keelin Darby, Organizer

MARCH 24, 2023


The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has made a decision: REVERSAL AND REMAND!

What does this mean? The Court has issued Ben a reversal of his conviction and has granted a retrial in his case. The family is working closely with their legal team to see what the next steps are. 

From Keelin Darby, "Ben and I are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support. Today's decision from the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals is welcome news for our family as well as all of the brave men and women who serve in uniform across the country. We look forward to Ben's release from prison in the coming days as we move forward with the next step in his legal battle."


Thank you for your continued support of the Darby family. Now that a new trial is ordered, please consider donating towards this cost. Thank you for your donations that have brought them this far! This fight is far from over!

February 13th, 2023
Keelin Darby, Organizer

Dear Friends and Supporters,


Below is a letter from Ben to you. I have also attached a copy of his physical letter. Thank you for your continued support. 

We are still waiting on the Court of Criminal Appeals to issue a decision in our case. Unfortunately, there is no timeline or pressure on the justices to make a decision.

We are hopeful for an answer soon and will be sure to update you once we receive the decision. Until then, enjoy this letter from Ben!

——————————

Dear Friend,                                                                    

I hope you are well.

I call you friend instead of supporter because you have taken an active role in this fight by standing with me. Friend sounds more appropriate.

The circumstance being as hard as it is, many have asked how I am doing. How am I making it? The answer, I am persevering. But how?

When all this started, my friend and pastor, Shane Lewis, gave me some advice. He told me that the usual line is "remember who you are." Shane then gave me something that remains powerful. “Remember whose you are."

Whose am I? The answer to this question drives me. I belong to people and causes that are much bigger than me.

I belong to my wife. I belong to my parents, loved ones, and close friends. I belong to the Church. There are so many praying, supporting, and showing up for me and my family. I have preached to trust and persevere no matter the adversity. Now I am being tested. I am humbled by the support from the Church, and my faith continues to grow.

I belong to a larger community that values law, order, and justice. I had to privilege to serve this community. I took an oath to faithfully serve with courageous calm in the face of danger. And I did. 

All of this is in the forefront of my mind every day. Those that I belong to have set the example for me. My commitment to prove worthy of their support, love, and respect is unwavering. Honor, integrity, and perseverance are demanded. I will not fail.

This situation affects a lot more than just my life. The community at large will suffer when it is common for police to be imprisoned for doing their job. I not only for for justice for me and my family, but for all the law enforcement and their families coming behind us. I will fight for the larger community that values law, order, and justice.

I am profoundly grateful for you. Thank you for standing with me. you make this fight possible with your generous donations. Every dollar donated goes toward legal fees. We are good stewards of your support, and it is not taken lightly.

Thank you again. And as Pastor Shane told me years ago..”Remember whose you are."

Take care,

Ben Darby

November 29th, 2022
Keelin Darby, Organizer

We had our Oral Arguments hearing on November 10th, and we believe it went well. All of the feedback we have received from those in attendance has been positive.

We are now waiting on the AL Criminal Appellate judges to publish their decision regarding our appeal. This decision could come at any moment, but there is no timeline or deadline the judges must meet to make their decision. We are hoping and praying that they publish their decision soon, but again, they will make it whenever they are ready.

We want to again say how thankful and grateful we are for the support we have received from everyone and the funds that continue to come in. The financial donations have greatly assisted Keelin pay for legal fees for Ben. We are blown away by the generosity we have received!

September 1st, 2022
Keelin Darby, Organizer

We just received news that the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has granted oral arguments in Ben's case!Oral arguments allow for attorneys to discuss specific points of an appeal in more depth to the judges panel.Oral arguments are highly sought for in every appeals case, but only have a 2% likelihood of being granted due to the amount of cases that are appealed.
WE BEAT THE 2%!!!The Court specifically wants to discuss Ben's 6th Amendment Constitutional right violation of not having a public trial and the basis of Graham v. Connor and the objective reasonableness standard. If we all remember, the public was not allowed to hear all of the trial because the judge would turn off the video feed without warning or cause throughout the proceedings.The judge also erred by not properly instructing the jury of the USSC case of Graham v. Connor. Specifically, the reasonableness of an [officer’s] actions in using deadly force may be objectively reasonable judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, the fact that officers are forced to make split second decisions, [and] in light of the facts and circumstances confronting them at the time.November 10, 2022 cannot get here fast enough! Thank you all for your continued support! This is one step closer in vindicating Ben and restoring his freedom! 🇺🇸

Donations & Comments

Only administrators, organizers, and beneficiaries can reply to comments.

Anonymous
Anonymous donated $1
8 months ago
Anonymous
Anonymous donated $20

Never quit!

9 months ago

Reply from Keelin Darby
9 months ago

Thank you for your donation. There’s no quit in us until this process is completed!

Anonymous
Anonymous donated $100
1 year ago

Reply from Keelin Darby
1 year ago

Thank you for your continued support!

William Martin
William Martin donated $100

May God bless y’all!

1 year ago

Reply from Keelin Darby
1 year ago

Thank you for your donation!

Anonymous
Anonymous donated $20
1 year ago

Reply from Keelin Darby
1 year ago

Thank you for your support!

david skidmore
david skidmore donated $50
1 year ago

Reply from Keelin Darby
1 year ago

Thank you for your support!

Benny Padilla
Benny Padilla donated $10

Good luck! I heard about what happened on the Street Cops podcast. It sounds like a bs case and I hope the outcome is Ben being acquitted for charges he should have never faced.

1 year ago

Reply from Keelin Darby
1 year ago

Thank you for your support! We are excited about the next steps

Zachary Barber
Zachary Barber donated $20
1 year ago

Reply from Keelin Darby
1 year ago

Thank you for your donation.

Nick G
Nick G donated $20

We stand with you! ⚫️🔵⚫️

1 year ago

Reply from Keelin Darby
1 year ago

Thank you for your donation!

Derek Smith
Derek Smith donated $20
1 year ago

Reply from Keelin Darby
1 year ago

Thank you for your support!

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Stand with Darby
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