Rashan Charles death: Father-of-one swallowed 'paracetamol and caffeine' before dying in police custody, watchdog reveals

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The young man who died after being restrained by a police officer in east London had tried to swallow a mixture of paracetamol and caffeine wrapped in plastic, forensic tests have revealed.

Rashan Charles, 20, was pronounced dead in hospital after being chased and wrestled to the ground in a shop in Dalston on July 22 – sparking both peaceful and violent protests in the community.

The independent police watchdog – which is conducting an investigation into his death – revealed on Wednesday that a package he had swallowed before his death did not contain drugs.

A spokesman for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) added on Thursday: “Yesterday, we received analysis of the contents of a package that paramedics removed from Rashan’s airway after he was detained and restrained by a police officer and member of the public.

“Following a very constructive meeting with Rashan’s family, we stated that the package did not contain controlled substances. 

“We did not provide further details, because the contents of the package are not directly relevant to our investigation – we are looking into the circumstances of Rashan’s death, not investigating Rashan.

“However, given the inflammatory nature of some ongoing speculation I will confirm that the package consisted of a mixture of paracetamol and caffeine wrapped in plastic.”

The father-of-one’s family have urged calm following a series of protests against police in east London over his death.

On Friday evening, a large gang of protesters – many of whom had their faces covered – clashed with riot police as tensions came to a head.

The group blocked busy Kingsland Road before hurling bottles, stones and other objects at police and starting a fire in the middle of the road.

A vigil held the following day outside Stoke Newington police station saw Mr Charles’ father call for “dignified” demonstrations.

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