A police officer (‘Officer A’) has been charged with the murder of retired footballer Dalian Atkinson who died in hospital after being Tasered.
Officers tasered Dalian after he reportedly threatened his elderly father in Telford in August 2016.
A second police officer, also from the West Mercia Police force, has been charged with assault causing actual bodily harm.
Both have appeared at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.
‘Officer A’ was remanded in custody after appearing before magistrates.
The second officer, ‘Officer B’, indicated she would plead not guilty and was bailed ahead of their next appearance at Birmingham Crown Court later.
The CPS decided to press charges following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
IOPC Regional Director, Derrick Campbell, said:
“We appreciate the patience shown by all concerned during our thorough and independent investigation and the period it was with the CPS for consideration.
“We have kept Mr Atkinson’s family, West Mercia Police, and the Coroner informed throughout.”
Jenny Hopkins, from the CPS, said in a statement the decision to charge the officers comes after “a careful review of all the evidence” given to them by the Independent Office for Police Conduct following an investigation.
She added: “Criminal proceedings against the two police officers are now active and they have a right to a fair trial.
“It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”
Chief Constable of West Mercia Police, Anthony Bangham, said:
“Our thoughts continue to remain with the family and friends of Dalian Atkinson at this difficult time.
“We understand the need for answers, however, as court proceedings are now underway it would not be appropriate for us to make any further comment regarding the circumstances of Mr Atkinson’s death.
“The officers involved have a right to a fair trial, and we will continue to make sure they have the appropriate support throughout the forthcoming criminal justice process.”
The exact circumstances of Dalian Atkinson’s death haven’t been revealed, and it is not known whether the Taser contributed to, or caused, his death.
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