July 25, 2021

Police officer convicted of manslaughter of former Aston footballer Villa Atkinson

His death at the age of 48 in August 2016 had called into question the generalization of the Taser. Dalian Atkinson, who notably played at Aston Villa in the 1990s, died after receiving a thirty-three second electric pulse pistol discharge from police in Telford following an incident at the home of his father. British justice on Wednesday 23 June recognized a police officer guilty of the manslaughter of the former professional footballer.

A 43-year-old police officer, Benjamin Monk, had been charged with murder. After more than eighteen hours of deliberation, jurors in a Birmingham court have unanimously found him innocent of murder but guilty of manslaughter. The policeman claimed he got scared as Atkinson was apparently in the throes of a bout of dementia, made death threats and smashed a glass door near the house where he had spent his childhood in Telford, about forty kilometers from Birmingham.

The player’s father said at the time to Daily Mail : “The last thing he said was “Not moving” when the police arrived at the door. He was very threatening. He was in all his senses. I don’t know if he was drunk or under the influence of drugs, but he was very agitated. “

Read also Great Britain: ex-professional footballer killed by police tasers

Self-defense

During the trial, the representative of the prosecution, Alexandra Healy, considered that the course of events showed that the agent “Did not act under the influence of self-defense”. The “Continued to pull the trigger for more than six times the length of the recommended five-second phase”, she said.

The former black sportsman, who suffered from severe kidney problems, also received two kicks to the forehead hard enough to leave the imprint of the laces, she said. The police officer said Dalian Atkinson was trying to get up when he kicked him in the shoulder in self-defense as a last resort, after running out of Taser cartridges.

Dalian Atkinson had started his career with the club of Ipswich Town, before making known himself under the colors of Sheffield Wednesday, in 1989. The striker had then gone to Real Sociedad, in Spain, before returning to England, this times at Aston Villa. He scored the club’s first Premier League goal on August 15, 1992, and won the goal of the year award in that same 1992-1993 season. He had subsequently played in Fenerbah├že, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

The World with AFP