Rethink Mental Illness statement on the killing of Dalian Atkinson

23 June 2021

Today, 23 June 2021, a jury at Birmingham crown court convicted PC Benjamin Monk of the manslaughter of Dalian Atkinson in 2016. Dalian, a former professional footballer, was unwell and experiencing a mental health crisis when he was killed.

Reacting to today’s verdict, Mark Winstanley, chief executive, Rethink Mental Illness said:

“Our thoughts today are with the family of Dalian Atkinson. This was a deeply upsetting case which shone a spotlight on the treatment of people experiencing a mental health crisis, specifically Black men who are over four times more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act. Whilst recognising that supporting someone in crisis can be challenging, police officers must have both the skills and aptitude to resolve such situations safely. That aptitude was clearly missing in this case and was responsible for Dalian’s death. We must see action to address the systemic failures that can increase the risk of violence or serious injury to people in crisis to prevent this from ever happening again.”