Former Fener player Atkinson dies after police shoot him with Taser
LONDONFormer Fenerbahçe and Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson has died after police used a Taser on him near his home in Telford, U.K.
West Mercia police said a 48-year-old man had died after officers shot him with a Taser. It was understood the man was Atkinson, the Guardian’s website reported on Aug. 15.
The force confirmed that officers fired a Taser at about 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 15 after responding to reports of concerns for a person’s safety. The man failed to respond to medical attention and was pronounced dead 90 minutes later.
The incident was automatically referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) as it involved a death caused by police officers. West Mercia was assisting the IPCC with its investigation. The force said it was unable to comment further.
The IPCC confirmed it had been notified of the incident and would issue a statement shortly.
Forensic officers were at the scene on Aug. 15 as Meadow Close remained cordoned off. Neighbors expressed their shock, with one posting on Facebook that there was “a lot of shouting and police.”
Fenerbahçe, Atkinson’s team during the 1995-1996 Turkish league season, issued a statement after his death, stating that they had learned of their former player’s death with great sadness.
It read that Atkinson had never been forgotten thanks to three straight goals against Fenerbahçe’s arch rival, Galatasaray, in one match alone.
Tasers deliver an incapacitating 50,000-volt shock, and critics say the weapon is too often lethal. It has been linked to at least 10 deaths in England and Wales over the last decade. In 2013, factory worker Jordan Lee Begley, 23, died two hours after a Greater Manchester officer targeted him with a stun gun at his home after police were called to reports of an argument.
Starting his career at Ipswich, Atkinson played for Sheffield Wednesday and Spanish side Real Sociedad before moving to Villa. He was the first black player for Real Sociedad, scoring 12 goals in La Liga in the 1990-91 season.