In the early hours of this morning, 48-year-old Dalian Atkinson, a former Aston Villa striker died after being Tasered by police in Meadow Close, Telford.
At 1.30am on Monday morning, police were called to the scene amid concerns over an individual’s safety, with speculation that it arose after a family dispute. Approximately 90 minutes later, Atkinson was pronounced dead.
The incident has been referred to The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) as it involves a death caused by the police.
Earlier in July, the IPCC released data showing that for every 100 officers 33 have fired Taser shots. This has raised concerns over the use of the weapon, with the use of stun guns having risen last year by 13 percent. At least 10 deaths over the last decade have been related to Taser gun use, and critics have argued that the guns are too often lethal.
Home Office figures from 2015 show that black people are three times more likely to be Tasered than white people. In 12 percent of cases Tasers were used against black people, who make up about 4 percent of the population.
Atkinson’s death marks the second Taser-related death at the hands of the police this year alone. This June saw former solider, Spencer Beynon, aged 43 die following an incident involving a Taser.
Regarding Atkinson’s death, West Merica police released a statement: “Officers responded to a report for the concern for the safety of an individual at approximately 1.30am this morning at an address in Telford. Upon arrival, Taser was deployed and a 48-year-old man, who subsequently received medical attention, was pronounced dead at approximately 3am.”
Atkinson’s had a successful career as a top striker for football club Aston Villa, during the 1990s and scored at Wembley in 1994 as Villa beat Manchester United to lift the League Cup. His career followed 20 Premier League goals between 1991 and 1995.
Atkinson’s went on to play for Manchester City later in his career and ended his career playing for South Korea in 2001.
Since Atkinson’s death social media has been flooded with tributes.
Ipswich Town tweeted: “Terribly sad news about our former striker. Our thoughts are with Dalian’s family and friends at this tragic time.”
Sheffield Wednesday tweeted: “The thoughts of everyone at Wednesday are with the friends and family of Dalian Atkinson this morning. RIP.”
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) August 15, 2016
RIP Dalian Atkinson,at his best one of the very best.xmb
— Mark Bosnich (@TheRealBozza) August 15, 2016