Two police officers are facing a criminal investigation following the death of former Aston Villa striker Dalian Atkinson on Monday.
The 48-year-old was pronounced dead after being rushed to hospital following an incident with police at an address in Telford.
Atkinson is believed to have been Tasered by one of the officers and suffered cardiac arrest on the way to hospital, though the cause of death has been deemed “inconclusive” following a post mortem, according to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPPC).
The retired striker’s death was immediately referred to the IPPC for investigation, and commissioner Derrick Campbell has confirmed two officers are being interviewed under “criminal caution”.
“Two West Mercia Police officers have been advised they are under criminal investigation and are also being served with gross misconduct notices,” an IPCC statement read.
“A criminal investigation does not mean that criminal charges will necessarily follow. The IPCC investigation is at an early stage and the position will be kept under review as the investigation progresses.”
A post mortem proved inconclusive & we await results of further tests. We’re analysing the use of a Taser & have statements from witnesses
— IPCC (@IPCCNews) August 18, 2016
Campbell added in the statement: “Having carefully considered the evidence gathered so far, we are undertaking a criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr Atkinson’s death and the level and type of force used. Two police officers will be interviewed under criminal caution by IPCC investigators.
“As this is a criminal investigation, the IPCC is limited in the amount of information which can be released into the public domain. I would ask people to be patient during the progress of our investigation and not to add to speculation about the circumstances of Mr Atkinson’s death. Speculation across the media as a whole can risk prejudice to the investigation process.
“We will keep Mr Atkinson’s family updated and our thoughts remain with all of those affected by his death.”