The police in the United Kingdom have apologized for killing Dalian Atkinson, a former Aston Villa striker who died on August 15, 2016, when he was 48-year-old.
Before his death, the police came to arrest the former Premier League star when they received a distress call that he was involved in an altercation with some family members.
When the police officers got to the scene of the incident, they tried to arrest the retired footballer by using extra force which include using a taser on him.
One of the police officers, Benjamin Monk did not only use the taser on Dalian Atkinson, he kicked him in the head which forced him to lose consciousness.
The ambulance rushed him to the hospital but was pronounced dead afterward due to the maltreatment he suffered from the police officer.
Dalian Atkinson did not only die due to the taser used on him and the kick he got in his head, but he also had an underlying illness that fastened his death.
Years after the incident, Benjamin Monk was charged with manslaughter, dismissed, and jailed for the crime earlier this year.
In a letter the police wrote to apologize to Dalian Atkinson’s family after Monk had been jailed, West Mercia’s Chief Constable Pippa Mills apologized on behalf of the police, noting that “a police uniform does not grant officers immunity to behave unlawfully or to abuse their powers”.
The police chief wrote: “I am deeply sorry for the devastating impact the actions of a West Mercia officer has caused you and I extend my deepest condolences to you all, and Dalian’s wider family and friends…
“I cannot imagine the immense pain you have felt and how the significant delays with the trial have also added to your burden of grief.
“You have demonstrated great strength and dignity throughout the past five years.”
In reaction to the letter of apology from the police, the family of Dalian Atkinson through the family’s lawyer, Kate Maynard, said the police apology is welcomed.
“The chief constable’s acknowledgment that a police uniform does not grant immunity is especially pertinent in a year that has seen other terrible examples of deadly police violence,” the lawyer said.
“With the first conviction of a serving police officer on a manslaughter charge connected with his policing duties in over 30 years, it is hoped that this will serve as a deterrent, and also embolden those who seek police accountability.”
Dalian Atkinson started his football career at Ipswich Town between 1985 and 1989. From there, the late Premier League star played for Sheffield Wednesday, and Real Sociedad before he joined Aston Villa in 1991.
While at Aston Villa, Atkinson scored 25 league goals in 85 games before he joined Fenerbahçe in 1995. He retired from professional football in 2001.