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'We're still reeling from our loss' - Dalian Atkinson's family speak of agony one year on from Taser death

By Sophie Madden | Telford | News | Published:

The family of Dalian Atkinson have said they are still "reeling from our loss", a year on from when the ex-Aston Villa striker died after being shot with a police Taser.

The 48-year-old was fatally died aged 48 after being shot by a police Taser outside his father's house in Meadow Close, Trench, Telford, on August 15 last year.

The retired footballer became unresponsive and died despite the efforts of hospital doctors who battled for 35 minutes to try to save him.

Dalian Atkinson's funeral

Mr Atkinson's family said: "A year has gone by and we're still reeling from our loss. Dalian was our baby brother.

"Our determination to get to the facts and to see that appropriate action is taken will not be weakened by the passing of time. We're buckled in for the long haul."

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) earlier revealed that three West Mercia Police officers have been interviewed under criminal caution and served with gross misconduct notices relating to his death.

But the IPCC says the investigation does not necessarily mean criminal charges will follow.

The watchdog said it has has been looking into the level and type of force used during the incident, and considering evidence from 15 other police officers and more than 15 members of the public.

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Investigators have transcribed relevant police radio transmissions and examined police policies on the use of force.

Analysis of the Taser which was deployed on Mr Atkinson has been carried out.

While all investigative actions have been completed, the IPCC investigation report cannot be finalised until the full pathology and toxicology reports are provided.

Paramedics and doctors were unable to revive Atkinson, despite administering CPR on him for more than an hour after he was taken to hospital.

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His funeral was attended by hundreds of mourners, including former Aston Villa stars Ian Taylor and Tommy Johnson and scores of fans, at Telford crematorium last November.

Tributes were paid to Dalian Atkinson at Villa Park
Dalian Atkinson scoring the first goal in the Coca Cola Cup Final at Wembley against Manchester United in 1994

Monday's statement, issued by the charity INQUEST, renews the family's previous demands for answers over the use of force during the former player's confrontation with police.

Deborah Coles, INQUEST director said: “As the Atkinson family mark the first anniversary of his tragic death INQUEST are deeply concerned about the disturbing number of recent deaths across the country following the use of force by police officers. There is a legitimate lack of trust and confidence in the systems for holding police to account for potential criminality and wrong doing.

"That some of the behaviours and responses to these recent deaths are so familiar to those seen in previous contentious deaths suggests a deeply concerning lack of learning, change and accountability."

Mr Atkinson’s funeral was held in November and was attended by former Villa players Ugo Ehiogu, Ian Taylor, Steve Staunton, Gary Charles and Tommy Johnson, as well as former manager Brian Little.

Dalian Atkinson funeral: Brian Little, Ugo Ehiogu and fans share their memories of the former player

In September nearly 200 people joined the ‘Justice 4 Dalian Atkinson’ in Telford Town park march.

West Mercia Police says it continues to co-operate with the investigation.

Sophie Madden

By Sophie Madden
@SMadden_Star

Senior reporter based out of the head office in Ketley covering the Telford area.

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