Two police officers could face criminal charges over the death of former Aston Villa star Dalian Atkinson.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct announced on Thursday that it had referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to consider potential criminal charges against the officers.
The former premier league footballer, 48, died around 90 minutes after being tasered in an incident involving three officers outside his father’s home in Telford, Shropshire in August 2016.
The officers were called to a home amid concerns “for the safety of an individual”. After being tasered, he was taken to the Princess Royal Hospital by ambulance where he died.
The CPS referral marks the end of theIndependent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation during which three West Mercia Police officers, who had attended the incident and were involved in detaining him, were interviewed twice under criminal caution and served with gross misconduct notices.
The actions of the third officer have not been referred for criminal charges.
Derrick Campbell, regional director of the IOPC said: “On the basis of the evidence gathered I have decided to refer the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider any potential criminal charges over the interaction two police officers had with Dalian Atkinson.
“This has been a lengthy and complex investigation and I am grateful for the patience shown by all concerned. We have kept West Mercia Police, Dalian’s family, and HM Coroner informed during the course of the investigation.”
The death of Atkinson, who had also played for Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town, sparked outrage and was likened to the deaths of black men in the US which sparked the Black Lives Matters movement.
At the time, Independent Police Complaints Commission, which was investigating the incident, said none of the relevant officers were wearing body worn video cameras.
Atkinson’s family has called for all Taser-equipped officers to be issued with bodycams as standard.