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mistermack

Murder by Taser

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This was a sad case and it's just got sadder. A UK cop has been charged with murder for the death of a former professional footballer, Dalian Atkinson, after police were called to the home of his father. Atkinson died of a heart attack on the way to hospital. I can't shed any light on the actual sequence of incidents that led to him being tasered. It's a very odd situation where a cop is charged with murder. A second cop, a woman pc, is charged with causing Actual Bodily Harm.

Wikipedia says this about his death "Police had responded to a call as Atkinson threatened to kill his father, Ernest. Atkinson's older brother Kenroy said "My brother had lost it. He was in a manic state and depressed – out of his mind and ranting. He had a tube in his shoulder for the dialysis and he had ripped it out and was covered in blood. He got dad by the throat and said he was going to kill him. He told dad he had already killed me, our brother Paul and sister Elaine and he had come for him."[20] After being tasered, Atkinson went into cardiac arrest on the way to the Princess Royal Hospital",19]       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalian_Atkinson#Death  

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-50333081  

Taking a cynical view, this looks like the good old tried and tested way of clearing cops of possible wrongdoing, by charging them and then mounting a deliberately inept prosecution, putting them beyond sanction when they get found not guilty. It's as old as the hills. 

What makes me wonder about this case though, is that at first sight, you wouldn't automatically blame the cops for deploying a taser. I've heard of them being deployed for far less than what was occurring in this case. Maybe it's race, and they are super sensitive to the charge of protecting a white officer who tasered a black man. 

Whatever, I'd give it a one-in-a-hundred chance of a guilty verdict. On the known facts, anyway.

 

Edited by mistermack

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6 hours ago, mistermack said:

Taking a cynical view, this looks like the good old tried and tested way of clearing cops of possible wrongdoing, by charging them and then mounting a deliberately inept prosecution, putting them beyond sanction when they get found not guilty. It's as old as the hills. 

 

What makes you take the cynical view? The two links seem to provide absolutely no information about what happened. Do you have some additional information about this case?

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1 hour ago, zapatos said:

What makes you take the cynical view?

Just having been around for seventy years, and seeing the same thing happen over and over again. They charge a cop, who is then "cleared" by a jury, when in reality, no real effort was made to convict. It serves a few purposes all in one. They are seen as "taking action" and "doing their best" for the victim, while actually ensuring that the cop is put beyond any sanction. 

The clearest example I can think of is the case of Rodney King, which was really notorious at the time. He was viciously beaten up by LA police, but it was all caught on film by a local resident. They did the usual trick of charging the four officers, and then running a completely incompetent prosecution, and all four were acquitted. The whole thing was so blatant that it sparked six days of rioting in LA, and the federal government were forced to step in and mount another prosecution, on charges of "violating his civil rights", and they managed to convict two of the cops. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodney_King   

The case is considered to be a big factor in the acquittal of OJ Simpson. It caused lasting dislike and distrust of the LAPD and the prosecution service alike, which affected juries for years. 

But that's one case in hundreds, where I've seen cops charged and acquitted after high profile cases. Most, far more blatant than this one in the OP. 

This case may or may not be another example. I can't see why it's being brought, on the face of it. But time will tell. The three years delay is suspicious, and if the officers are cleared, and "mistakes" by the prosecution are criticised afterwards, then you will know what really went on. Again.

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16 hours ago, mistermack said:

This was a sad case and it's just got sadder. A UK cop has been charged with murder for the death of a former professional footballer

how can a tasering be murder?

https://metro.co.uk/2019/11/30/named-pictured-london-bridge-attacker-convicted-terrorist-11244497/

Quote

He was wearing a fake suicide vest and had threatened to blow up the building in central London.

Quote

There, he was confronted by brave onlookers who tackled him before he was shot dead by armed officers.

 

This was murder, should the armed officers be charged?

Edited by dimreepr

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22 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

I'm not sure what that link has to do with tasering.

The two links in the OP give a rundown of what happened. Murder can be due to somebody dying, due to an intentional illegal act. 

If they didn't use the taser legally, the prosecution could try to make a case for murder. 

I agree, in this case, it seems on the face of it that they haven't got a chance of making murder stick. Which is what makes me suspect their motives in pressing charges. That the real objective is acquittal, not conviction.

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Quote

My brother had lost it. He was in a manic state and depressed – out of his mind and ranting. He had a tube in his shoulder for the dialysis and he had ripped it out and was covered in blood. He got dad by the throat and said he was going to kill him.

from your link, which makes my link relevant.

12 minutes ago, mistermack said:

If they didn't use the taser legally, the prosecution could try to make a case for murder. 

context clues.

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Too cryptic. I have absolutely no idea what you are trying to say. 

Did you ever try just saying what you mean? It's not hard. 

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1 hour ago, mistermack said:

Too cryptic. I have absolutely no idea what you are trying to say. 

Did you ever try just saying what you mean? It's not hard. 

 

2 hours ago, dimreepr said:
Quote

He was wearing a fake suicide vest and had threatened to blow up the building in central London.

Quote

There, he was confronted by brave onlookers who tackled him before he was shot dead by armed officers.

1 hour ago, dimreepr said:
  Quote

My brother had lost it. He was in a manic state and depressed – out of his mind and ranting. He had a tube in his shoulder for the dialysis and he had ripped it out and was covered in blood. He got dad by the throat and said he was going to kill him.

context, the bit that justifies an action. ;) 

 

Too cryptic? :ph34r:

Edited by dimreepr

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3 minutes ago, mistermack said:

Triping.    ☺️

Jesus.  :doh:

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15 hours ago, mistermack said:

Just having been around for seventy years, and seeing the same thing happen over and over again. They charge a cop, who is then "cleared" by a jury, when in reality, no real effort was made to convict.

Somebody actually died, seems worth investigating in my mind.

Sure, it might be more about clearing reputation then trying to put the suspect in jail, but, in the end, as long as the judge does care about the suspect's guilt or innocence, justice will be served.

Would you prefer a situation where cops who killed  someone(whether by gun, taser or bare hands) would get off because "cops can't be criminals" ?

My guess is that the cop will be found innocent as he's a cop and not a shrink, faced with a mentally unstable person he did everything that could(should) be expected of any cop.

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14 minutes ago, Roamer said:

Somebody actually died, seems worth investigating in my mind.

Sure, it might be more about clearing reputation then trying to put the suspect in jail, but, in the end, as long as the judge does care about the suspect's guilt or innocence, justice will be served.

Would you prefer a situation where cops who killed  someone(whether by gun, taser or bare hands) would get off because "cops can't be criminals" ?

My guess is that the cop will be found innocent as he's a cop and not a shrink, faced with a mentally unstable person he did everything that could(should) be expected of any cop.

He likely used the shortest, easiest route to contain the situation. If he had a gun he would have used that. This is why I don't want to see ordinary uk  police officers routinely armed.

Edited by StringJunky

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23 minutes ago, Roamer said:

Somebody actually died, seems worth investigating in my mind.

Sure, it might be more about clearing reputation then trying to put the suspect in jail, but, in the end, as long as the judge does care about the suspect's guilt or innocence, justice will be served.

Would you prefer a situation where cops who killed  someone(whether by gun, taser or bare hands) would get off because "cops can't be criminals" ?

My guess is that the cop will be found innocent as he's a cop and not a shrink, faced with a mentally unstable person he did everything that could(should) be expected of any cop.

Investigating yes, of course every incident is investigated. Not every investigation results in a murder charge and trial. Not every investigation takes three years, either, when the facts would have been known within three days. 

In a perverse way, I think race has had something to do with the politics of the case. A black fairly famous ex-footballer is a high profile case, and might warrant a bit of political correctness pressure from above. 

Of course cops can be murderers like anyone else. But using a taser is part of their job. They're trained in using it. It's a legal part of their equipment, and they are expected to make a decision whether to deploy it as part of their job. It's not like they just bought one off the internet and tried it out on him. 

If they made a terrible decision and tasered him when they shouldn't have, that's incompetence, not murder. It's not like in America, where a cop pulled his gun out and deliberately shot a suspect. It's supposed to be non-lethal. 

The trial will be decided by jury, not a judge. I don't know what the betting is. If betting was allowed, you would think the odds would be around 50 to 100 to one on acquittal. 

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10 hours ago, mistermack said:

it seems on the face of it that they haven't got a chance of making murder stick. Which is what makes me suspect their motives in pressing charges. That the real objective is acquittal, not conviction.

So, if I understand correctly...
The authorities don't have a chance of making murder stick, and he'll be acquitted.
So you think that they charged him so he can be acquitted.

Either I don't understand your logic, or you think the authorities are trying to look stupid.

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U.K. police officers aren't above the law. Can't find a recent survey, I think they do them every five years. From 2015:-

Quote

A total of 1,629 police officers were arrested in the last five years for criminal offences which included assault, grievous bodily harm, and manslaughter, report the Sunday Times. Out of these, 500 were convicted of offences, or suspended from duty on suspicion of committing offences.

Officers convicted of offences

  • PC Keith Wallis was jailed for 12 months for lying about witnessing an altercation in Downing Street involving the former Tory chief whip, Andrew Mitchell.
  • Osman Iqbal was given 7 years of jail time for prostitution, supplying a class-A drug, and money laundering in 2014.
  • Chris Higgs admitted to 16 crimes, including blackmail, fraud, perverting the court of justice, and witness interference, in March 2015.
  • Constable Trevor Jones jailed for 14 months after bombarding vulnerable women with sleazy text and voice messages in June 2015.

Sources: Sunday Times, The Guardian and Machester Evening News

https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/1600-uk-police-officers-arrested-criminal-offences-5-years-1519573

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3 hours ago, MigL said:

So, if I understand correctly...
The authorities don't have a chance of making murder stick, and he'll be acquitted.
So you think that they charged him so he can be acquitted.

Either I don't understand your logic, or you think the authorities are trying to look stupid.

So your logic is, if he is acquitted, they will look stupid ??   

Well, I never said that. I don't know where you got that idea. If he is acquitted, they will say what they always say when they lose a case. 

Although on the odd occasion they do end up looking stupid, as in the recent Carl Beech VIP paedophile ring scandal. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-50596148  

And the recent Hillsborough tragedy trial,         https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-50592077 

And @curious layman, I'm not saying that they are protecting guilty officers using weak prosecutions. In this taser case, I'm not alleging that the cops actually did anything wrong. In fact I suspect the opposite from what's been released, although you can't know till you hear all the facts.

I'm just pointing out a trend, and saying that this looks like another example. It's more prevalent and blatant in the US, but it can happen here too. 

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