The jury unanimously found Benjamin Monk guilty of the former footballer’s murder in August 2016.
A British police officer has been found guilty of the murder of former Premier League star Dalian Atkinson in a verdict described as “historic” by militants.
At a six-week trial in Birmingham, Benjamin Monk was told he fired a Taser three times (including a single 33-second high, more than six times the standard five-second duration) at Atkinson and kicked him. standing twice on his head while putting on during the August 15, 2016 incident.
Jurors took nearly 19 hours to reach a unanimous verdict on Monk on Wednesday, which prosecutors said had exaggerated the threat posed by Atkinson and lied about the facts to justify excessive and illegal force.
Former Aston Villa player, 48, was reported to have suffered a cardiac arrest after being moved from the scene, near his father’s house in Telford, about 48 miles (30 km) away. miles) from Birmingham, in an ambulance. He was pronounced dead at the hospital about an hour after being stabbed.
Monk, who was cleared of another murder charge, maintained that his actions were self-defense.
Jurors are still deliberating on a charge of assault related to Monk’s partner and ex-girlfriend, police officer Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith.
Atkinson’s death sparked a debate about the increasing use of Tasers in a country where most police officers do not carry weapons. Government statistics show that blacks are more likely to use stun guns than white British.
Following the verdict, the charity INQUEST said no British police officer had been convicted of murder or homicide after a detained death or after police contact in England and Wales since 1986.
Director Deborah Coles said the “historic” verdict sent a strong message that officers were not above the law.
“Dalian’s death is not an isolated case but part of a systemic problem,” he said.
“For decades, black men, especially those in mental health crisis, have died disproportionately after the use of force by the police.
“True justice requires structural change in our society and its institutions to address racism and better respond to mental health and state violence.”
Atkinson “very missed”
Atkinson’s family said the former footballer was “sorely missed.”
“We are hugely relieved that the whole country now knows the truth about how Dalian died,” a family statement said.
“The night he died, Dalian was vulnerable and ill and in need of medical attention. Instead, he received violence and died with the lace tips of the PC Monk store injured in the forehead.
“While it has been difficult for us not to be able to talk about the details of Dalian’s death, it has been even harder to ascertain during this trial and hear PC Monk try to justify the force he used,” the statement added.
Atkinson was a striker who played in England’s top division with Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa. During a Villa match against Wimbledon in October 1992, he scored one of the most famous goals in the Premier League when he ran from his own half, evaded several challenges and then threw the ball to the porter.
He scored 20 Premier League goals with Villa and also scored in the 1994 League Cup final in the team’s 3-1 win over Manchester United. Atkinson also had spells with the Royal Society in Spain, the Fenerbahce in Turkey and South Korea.