Rashan Charles: Twenty-year-old man dies after being held by officers in east London

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The Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched an investigation after 20-year-old man died following a police chase in east London.

Officers chased the man on foot after attempting to stop a car in Kingsland Road, Dalston, in the early hours of yesterday morning.

He has been named locally as Rashan Charles, from London.

He ran into a shop where he was seen “trying to swallow an object” before “being taken ill”, Scotland Yard said.

CCTV footage posted on social media under the hashtag #justiceforRash appears to show an officer restraining a young man inside a shop. A second man in plain clothing then comes to assist him.

It has not been confirmed if the video shows the actual incident.

The spokesman added: “The man entered a shop in Kingsland Road, where he was seen to be trying to swallow an object.

“The officer intervened and sought to prevent the man from harming himself, but he was then taken ill.”

Paramedics were called and before they arrived police officers, including a force medic, provided first aid, the Met said. 

The man was then taken to the Royal London Hospital, where he was pronounced dead around an hour later.

His next of kin have been informed.

A post-mortem examination and formal identification are to take place. 

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the incident, and the Directorate of Professional Standards has also been informed.

The IPCC said it had launched an independent investigation at 3.10am on Saturday – less than an hour-and-a-half after police pursued the man.

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

CCTV footage from inside the shop and police body-worn video has also been gathered and viewed.

Investigators are keen to speak to any witnesses who were in the Kingsland Road/ Middleton Road area of Hackney.

Chief Superintendent Simon Laurence offered his condolences to the man’s family in a statement and urged the public to avoid “speculation” over what caused his death. 

The borough commander for Hackney said: “In the early hours of Saturday, 21 July, officers attempted to stop a car on Kingsland Road, E8.

“A man, who was in the car, was pursued on foot before entering a shop where he was seen to be trying to swallow an object. He was then taken ill. 

“He was taken to hospital by the London Ambulance Service where, sadly, he died later that morning. Our thoughts remain with his family and friends.

“The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched an independent investigation to establish what happened and has viewed the officers’ body worn video.

“There is likely to be speculation over the next few days regarding what led to this man becoming ill, so I would encourage people to keep up-to-date with the IPCC’s statements, as and when they are released.

“All police officers are fully aware that they will be asked to account for their actions – officers are not exempt from the law and we would not wish to be.”


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