Murder trial begins for police officer charged with murdering a Black former Premier League soccer player

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Kelly McLaughlin
·2 min read
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Portrait of Dalian Atkinson of Aston Villa in 1993.
Portrait of Dalian Atkinson of Aston Villa in 1993. Anton Want/Allsport via Getty Images
  • PC Benjamin Monk has been charged with murder and manslaughter in the death of former Aston Villa star Dalian Atkinson.

  • Atkinson died in 2016 after police responded to a report of a disturbance.

  • Prosecutors say Monk fired a taser at Atkinson for 33 seconds and kicked him twice in the head.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The trial of two UK police officers charged in the death of former Aston Villa star Dalian Atkinson started on Tuesday.

PC Benjamin Monk has been charged with murder and manslaughter in Atkinson's 2016 death.

Prosecutors say Monk fired a taser at Atkinson for 33 seconds, and while he was unresponsive, kicked him twice in the head, The Guardian reports.

The constable's colleague, PC Marry Ellen Bettley-Smith, is also on trial and has been charged with assault causing actual bodily harm.

Officers were responding to a 999 call about a disturbance at Atkinson's father's home when the incident occurred.

Atkinson was acting "disturbed and erratic" when police arrived, prosecutor Alexandra Healy QC said in opening arguments.

"They were confronted with a man who was clearly acting in a disturbed and erratic way. They were entitled to use reasonable force to defend themselves or to protect another," Healy told the court, according to The Guardian.

But Healy said that the extended use of the taser was "not reasonable."

"However, when the deployment of the third cartridge was completely effective, causing Dalian Atkinson to experience neuromuscular incapacitation and fall to the ground, the prosecution say it was not reasonable to continue to depress the Taser for 33 seconds," she told the court. "In kicking Dalian Atkinson in the head not once, but on two separate occasions, PC Monk was not, the prosecution say, acting in self-defense or in defense of another."

After Atkinson became unresponsive, an ambulance was called.

Atkinson went into cardiac arrest while on the way to a nearby hospital. He was later pronounced dead.

Read the original article on Insider