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UK police on trial accused of footballer’s murder

British prosecutors accused a police officer of murder for allegedly utilizing pointless pressure in opposition to a Black former Premier League soccer participant, who died after being kicked within the head and shot with a stun gun.

Dalian Atkinson, 48, a former Aston Villa star, went into cardiac arrest on the best way to a hospital and died round 90 minutes after officers used a Taser on him to subdue him throughout an altercation in 2016.

Prosecutors allege that West Mercia Police Constable Benjamin Monk, 42, used a stun gun for 33 seconds in opposition to Atkinson — greater than six instances longer than was commonplace.

Authorities charged Monk with murder and manslaughter after a three-year inquiry.

Monk’s colleague, Police Constable Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith, 31, can also be dealing with trial charged with assault. The two appeared at Birmingham Crown Court Tuesday for the beginning of their trial. Both officers deny wrongdoing.

The case has touched off a debate concerning the use of stun weapons in a rustic the place police hardly ever carry firearms.

Black individuals had been thrice extra prone to be concerned in stun gun incidents than white individuals from 2011 to 2015, in response to Home Office statistics obtained by the BBC.

Prosecutor Alexandra Healy informed the courtroom that officers had been referred to as to a disturbance at Atkinson’s father’s residence in Telford after midnight on Aug. 15, 2016, after neighbors reported listening to the soccer participant shouting on the street.

She stated Atkinson, who had critical well being issues together with end-stage renal failure, moved in direction of the officers and Monk used his stun gun twice ineffectively. The third deployment of the stun gun incapacitated Atkinson and triggered him to fall ahead onto the street, she stated.

“The standard default setting of a Taser is a five-second phase, but it is possible to override that by continuing to depress the trigger,” the prosecutor informed the jury.

“And PC Monk continued to depress the trigger for over six times the length of a standard five-second phase.”

Prosecutors additionally allege that Monk kicked Atkinson within the head arduous sufficient to go away the imprints of his laces on the person’s brow.

Healy stated Monk wasn’t appearing in self-defense when he kicked Atkinson twice within the head.

“He was no doubt angry that he had been put in fear by this man. He chose to take that anger out on Dalian Atkinson by kicking him in the head,” she stated.

Prosecutors preserve that though Atkinson’s underlying well being situations meant he was “at a greatly increased risk of dying,” he wouldn’t have died that evening had been it not for the third stun gun deployment and the kicks to his head.

Atkinson was a ahead who performed in England’s prime division for Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa. It was at Villa the place he scored one of essentially the most well-known Premier League targets — in opposition to Wimbledon in October 1992 — when he ran from inside his personal half, evaded a quantity of challenges, then chipped the ball over the goalkeeper and into the online.

He scored 20 Premier League targets for Villa and likewise netted within the 1994 League Cup last within the staff’s 3-1 win over Manchester United.

Atkinson had spells with Real Sociedad in Spain, Fenerbahce in Turkey and likewise in South Korea. His one season at Sociedad got here within the 1990-91, a time when English gamers seldom performed overseas.

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