Rashan Charles: Met Police officer under investigation for gross misconduct over man's death in custody, IPCC announces

Officer being probed over restraint and how he dealt with medical emergency

Jon Sharman
Wednesday 13 September 2017 15:28 BST
Rashan Charles died following a police chase on 22 July
Rashan Charles died following a police chase on 22 July

A Metropolitan Police officer is being investigated for gross misconduct over the death of Rashan Charles while in custody, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has announced.

The officer who first restrained Mr Charles, 20, is under investigation for potentially breaching standards of behaviour during the restraint and in how he dealt with the detainee's medical emergency.

Mr Charles died on 22 July in Hackney, east London, having earlier been apprehended by Met officers after running into a shop in Dalston. He became unwell while he was being restrained.

He was taken to the Royal London Hospital in nearby Whitechapel, but pronounced dead at 2.55am.

His death sparked violent protests.

The IPCC previously said it had found that after he was detained, attempts were made to remove an object from his mouth or throat.

It was later revealed that a package removed from his throat contained a mixture of caffeine and paracetamol.

IPCC commissioner Cindy Butts said: "Our investigators have analysed the CCTV and body-worn video evidence we gathered and considered the officer’s detailed statement as well as statements from other witnesses to the incident. We have also considered the relevant policies and procedures.

"While this move indicates a new phase in our investigation, it does not necessarily mean misconduct proceedings will follow," she added. "We will keep the position under review as the investigation progresses."

A Met spokesperson said: "All police officers are fully aware that they will be asked to account for their actions. No officer is above the law and they would not wish to be.

"The MPS continues to provide every possible support to the police officer and their colleagues while fully co-operating with the IPCC investigation.

"The MPS will now be reviewing what restrictions, if any, should be placed on the officer. In reaching that decision the MPS will liaise with the IPCC, as is usual."

The opening into Mr Charles' inquest last month heard there had been two post-mortem examinations carried out on the unemployed man, who lived in south-west London—the second on behalf of his family and the police.

In August, Hackney MP Diane Abbott said an update from the IPCC saying the package taken from Mr Charles' throat did not contain a controlled substance, coupled with figures from the Met that showed black and ethnic minority people were "disproportionately" subject to the use of force, "will no doubt cause deep concern and upset".

"Urgent work must be done to rebuild trust and links between the police and the community," she added.

Ms Abbott said the violent demonstrations were "wrong" and she joined with Mr Charles' family in calling for peace.

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