Officer investigated over Rashan Charles death

Officer investigated over Rashan Charles death

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A police officer is being investigated for gross misconduct over the death of Rashan Charles, the police watchdog has said.

The 20-year-old died after being chased and restrained by police on Saturday 22 July in Hackney, northeast London.

Mr Charles, who was from southwest London, became ill after “trying to swallow an object” and died in hospital around an hour later.

A forensic analysis of the package showed it “did not contain a controlled substance”, but was made up of “a mixture of paracetamol and caffeine”.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said in a statement: “The officer may have breached the police standards of professional behaviour regarding the detention and restraint of Rashan as well as how he dealt with Rashan’s medical emergency.”

The Met Police said they are co-operating fully with the investigation, and said that it was “absolutely vital” to quickly establish the facts of the case.

The force is now deciding whether any restrictions will be placed on the officer.

The young father’s death was followed by angry protests in Hackney, with riot police called in to break up the crowd.

Investigators have looked at CCTV – which was widely shared on social media at the time – showing the officer pursue Mr Charles into a shop after attempting to stop a car in Kingsland Road at 1.45am.

The footage shows the police officer wrestling him to the ground, then restraining Mr Charles around his neck as he struggles on the floor.

Mr Charles then stopped moving as he was handcuffed by the officer, and appeared unresponsive as a member of the public sat on him.

The IPCC previously said it had obtained evidence “which indicates an object was removed from his throat at the scene”.

IPCC commissioner Cindy Butts said: “While this move indicates a new phase in our investigation, it does not necessarily mean misconduct proceedings will follow.”

The family of Mr Charles has previously expressed concerns over the “openness and transparency” of the IPCC investigation.

Two post-mortem examinations have so far been carried out on Mr Charles’ body, but his medical cause of death is yet to be determined.

A full inquest into Mr Charles’ death will be held in front of a jury next June.

(c) Sky News 2017: Officer investigated over Rashan Charles death