Two police offers could be charged over the death of Dalian Atkinson 3 years ago

Two police offers could be charged over the death of Dalian Atkinson

Atkinson died in August 2016

Former football Dalian Atkinson died in August 2016 at the age of just 48 after being shot with a taser by police at his father's house in Shropshire. Two police officers could now face criminal charges over Atkinson's death.

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The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it had referred a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). West Mercia Police said it "understands the need for answers".

The IOPC said during its investigation that three West Mercia Police officers were interviewed twice under criminal caution and served with gross misconduct notices. Two of them may now face charges, but the actions of the third officer have not been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Atkinson began his career at Ipswich Town but was best known for his time at Aston Villa, scoring their first ever Premier League goal.

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The IOPC said the officers attended Meadows Close in Trench, Telford, and were "involved in detaining Mr Atkinson outside" an address at about 01:30 BST on 15 August 2016.

It said the former footballer was taken by ambulance to the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford where he later died.

"The investigation gathered evidence which indicates that police contact with Mr Atkinson involved the use of a Taser, followed by a period of restraint and other uses of force," the IOPC added.

Mr Atkinson's family has been informed of the development but an inquest into the circumstances surrounding his death has yet to be held amid a delay in the testing of toxicology samples.

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West Mercia Police Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans confirmed a Taser was deployed while responding to an incident involving Mr Atkinson.

"We understand the need for answers by those directly affected by this tragedy and also by the wider community that West Mercia Police serves," he added.

"It would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time."

In a statement released after Mr Atkinson's death, his siblings said he was "a kind, caring and protective brother, with a lively personality".

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"He always brought life and energy to family gatherings - when Dalian turned up, we knew there would be laughter and banter," they added.