Dalian Atkinson passed away on August 15, 2016 in the housing estate where his father lived, as a result of the cContinuous discharges from policeman Benjamin Monk’s stun gun to control your mental disorder. While the convention is for the trigger to be squeezed for five seconds to bind the shock cables together, Monk would have squeezed it for a total of 33 seconds.
The jury of twelve people chosen at random to sentence the case opened in the Birmingham Criminal Court heard this Tuesday account of what happened in the minutes that led to his death. The prosecutor Alexandra Healy warned them that, without that discharge and the blows that the two defendants gave him, I would not have died that night.
According to eyewitness testimony, Atkinson fell forward after his muscles were neutralized with the stun gun. But Monk kicked him twice in the forehead, with such force that it left the mark of his laces. Police Marie-Ellie Bettley-Smith then hit him several times with her baton. The victim passed away on the way to the hospital.
Both Monk, 42, and Bettley-Smith, 31, have pleaded not guilty to the charges brought. They are murder or homicide, in the first, and injuries, in the second. They were then a couple. The trial will last between six and eight weeks and has aroused national interest due to the popularity of the footballer in England and its coincidence with protest movements over the treatment of black people by police.
Dalian Atkinson was 48 years old when he passed away. After a long career that had taken him to Spain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia or South KoreaIn addition to several clubs in England, he had retired in 2001. He suffered from high blood pressure and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is a thickening of a part of the heart that has caused the sudden death of young athletes. He was on dialysis for acute kidney failure.
The former soccer player had not drank alcohol since he was twenty years old, but he smoked small amounts of cannabis, the prosecutor explained. He had to go to the hospital on Monday the 15th for something related to dialysis, after spending the weekend at a friend’s house. He told this friend that he was the Messiah. The Atkinson family lives in Telford, in the same county where he grew up, with Shrewsbury as the main town.
After midnight on the 14th, he left his friend’s house taking off the dialysis tube, because that day, the 15th, he was going to be free after his visit to the hospital. He knocked on the door of his brother, Paul, and he heard him say: “You are conspiring against the wrong person”. His girlfriend called him when the former footballer had already arrived at his father’s house and heard him say: “Do you know who you’re talking to?”
The testimony of the father, Ernest, now deceased, portrays a deranged son who asks him why the family is trying to kill him and then accuses his father of killing his two brothers. “I am the Messiah and I come to kill you,” she would have said, before grabbing his neck and pushing him into a chair. Neighbors called the police emergency number, and Monk and Bettley-Smith came.
Atkinson stepped out the door and addressed the policemen. Monk fired the first volley at him, which had no effect. The former soccer player walked to another house in the development and Monk shot him in the back, to no avail. Atkinson returned to his father’s house and broke the glass above the door. The deranged man and the two policemen had their duel on the road thereafter.
Monk fired a third time and this time caused the muscular disability that electric weapons pursue.. If they had stopped at that time, their intervention would have been perfect, according to prosecutor Healy, in her presentation on the first day, but the additional shocks and blows justify the charges in a procedure that has already lasted almost five years.
Monk and Bettley-Smith say they fired twice the shock they had already delivered and hit him because Atkinson tried to get to his feet. Neighbors who observed the tragic scene claim that he remained down in the race. Operators in the ambulance that took him to Birmingham hospital they failed to revive his heart.