CRIME: Over 37,000 sign petition for urgent review of police Taser use after death of Aston Villa striker Dalian Atkinson

Former footballer Dalian Atkinson died after being shot with a Taser by police at his father's house yesterday (August 15).

The reasons why he was Tasered remain unclear.

Police said the weapon was deployed at around 1.30am in Telford, Shropshire after officers were called to a report of “concern for a man's safety”.

37119DC700000578-3741176-The_48_year_old_man_who_died_after_being_Tasered_by_police_has_b-a-77_1471261365275.jpg

Mr Atkinson went into cardiac arrest on his way to hospital, where he was pronounced dead 90 minutes later.

Dad of three, Jason Jackson, has started a petition on Change.org calling on Prime Minister Theresa May to establish a review of police use of Tasers. At the time of writing over 37,000 had signed it.

Writing on his petition, Jason says: “As a black man, a father of three growing boys and a campaigner against the abuse of power by police officers, I was appalled and frightened to hear this news. If this can happen to a former Premiership footballer, then it could happen to me or my children.

aston-villa-football-dalian-atkinson-ron-atkinson-league-cup_3765285.jpg

"Atkinson’s death is the eleventh linked to the use of Tasers by the police in this country. What is more worrying is that black people are three times more likely have a taser used against them by police than white people, according to figures by the Home Office”.

“This incident has called into question the training and understanding on the use of Tasers within our police force and the fatal consequences of institutional racism. Police forces should be upholding the law and protecting people, not causing their deaths”.

Police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched an investigation into Mr Atkinson’s death.

For more information about this petition go to change.org/policetasers or email press.uk@change.org.

Notes
Change.org petitions are now embeddable. Any mention of a campaign can now be paired with the visual (just as you'd embed tweets in a piece about a topic on Twitter). Find out more in our handy 'how-to' guide here