3 years after the horrific incident, the police officer involved has finally been charged with the murder of former Aston Villa player, Dalian Atkinson. The incident that took place on 15 August 2016 and left the Football community shocked, raising questions as to how such a tragic event could ever have been allowed to happen.
The second officer accused in the incident was also charged with ‘assault causing actual bodily harm’.
Although both officers have not been named as The Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) believes that their defense will apply for them to remain anonymous, it has been stated that both officers are from West Mercia. The CPS released the statement concerning the charges today and have contacted Atkinson’s family.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) released its investigatory findings to the CPS leading to the charges. The officer charged with murder will also face an alternative charge of an unlawful act manslaughter.
Atkinson’s family, whilst welcoming the charges, are disappointed that it has taken this long to reach the decision. A spokesman for the family stated that the family “regret that already more than three years have passed since Dalian died”.
Investigations by the IOPC show that the accused may have used a taser on Atkinson before restraining him and using other force, all of which may have contributed to his death.
Dalian Atkinson began his career as an apprentice with Ipswich. In 1989 he signed with Sheffield Wednesday for £450,000. He then moved to Spain in 1990 joining Real Sociedad for £1.7 million.
In 1991 he was signed by Aston Villa returning him back to England. He later joined Turkish team Fenerbahçe in 1995. He later finished his career playing for Manchester City and other clubs in Saudi Arabia and South Korea.