Rashan Charles inquest: Grieving family must wait almost a year to find out truth about death of man who died after police chase

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The family of Rashan Charles must wait almost a year for a full inquest into the death of the man who died after being chased by police in east London.

Rashan Charles, 20, died on July 20 having earlier been apprehended by Metropolitan Police officers after running into a shop in Dalston.

An inquest into Mr Charles’ death – which sparked riots on the streets of the capital – was opened today but authorities are waiting for test results before revealing a cause of death, his family were told.

An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation into his death has so far shown that, after he was detained, attempts were made to remove an object from his mouth or throat.

The family of Rashan Charles arrive at Poplar Coroners’ Court (Lauren Hurley/PA)

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

The inquest opening at Poplar Coroner’s court on Wednesday heard that there had been two post mortems carried out on the unemployed man, who lived in South West London – the second on behalf of his family and the police.

But coroner’s officer David Brereton told the hearing that “no medical cause of death has been offered at this time”, pending the results of toxicology and other tests.

Protesters gather in the wake of Rashan Charles’ death (AFP/Getty Images)

He added that the London Ambulance Service paramedic who took Mr Charles to hospital from the shop in Kingsland Road noted a “foreign body was found in his airway”.

Mr Charles’s father Esa, a great uncle and a family friend were in court for the brief hearing. They left without speaking to reporters.

Mr Charles’s family had previously expressed concerns over the “openness and transparency” of the IPCC investigation into his death.

Detained: Rashan Charles died in hospital after being chased into a shop and handcuffed by a police officer

Mary Hassell, the senior coroner for Inner North London, said the full inquest would be held in front of a jury next June, and was likely to last “weeks rather than days”.

She told Mr Charles relatives: “I’m sorry that seems a long way away – it is a long way away. 

“But it is my experience that when the IPCC is investigating a death like this, it’s impossible to have the inquest sooner.”

Additional reporting by Press Association.


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