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Rashan Charles: Family have ‘concerns about openness’ over IPCC probe into man’s death following Dalston police chase

PUBLISHED: 09:55 04 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:00 04 August 2017

Esa Charles (left), father of Rashan Charles, with Stafford Scott, a family spokesman. Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Esa Charles (left), father of Rashan Charles, with Stafford Scott, a family spokesman. Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

PA Wire/PA Images

Rashan Charles’ family today said they had “concerns about openness and transparency” over the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s investigation into their son’s death.

It comes after it was yesterday revealed that the package he tried to swallow hours before his death had contained paracetamol and caffeine – not, as some had speculated, illegal drugs.

Both his family and the watchdog itself have since pointed out the IPCC is not investigating Mr Charles, but the conduct of the police officers who chased and tackled him a fortnight ago.

In a statement delivered by their solicitor this morning, the family said: “Our single objective is to establish what happened to Rashan, and to do this using all lawful means available.

“We expect the IPCC to conduct an investigation to the highest possible standards, and to provide the answers we urgently seek.

“We have raised concerns with the IPCC about openness and transparency, which is regrettable at this early stage.”

Mr Charles was seen on CCTV being tackled to the floor of Yours Locally in Kingsland Road, Dalston, at about 1.45am on July 22 by a police officer and a bystander. Hours later, he died in hospital.

Flowers have been laid outside the Yours Locally shop in Kingsland Road, in memory of Rashan CharlesFlowers have been laid outside the Yours Locally shop in Kingsland Road, in memory of Rashan Charles

Friends, family and supporters called for the police officer seen in the clip to be suspended, something police told the Gazette there was “no grounds” to do.

In response, protests took place in Dalston on Monday and Friday last week, the latter of which saw a boy charged with causing grievous bodily harm. Two people suffered minor injuries when Kingsland Road was blocked near the off-licence and fires lit. Later, the protest spread north and businesses were damaged.

The following day, Mr Charles’s father Esa gave a statement through spokesman Stafford Scott outside Stoke Newington police station. He called for peace – but reiterated the demand for justice.

Diane Abbott MP joined Esa, father of Rashan, and (left) speaker L. Tavares, 31,outside Stoke Newington police station. Picture: Polly HancockDiane Abbott MP joined Esa, father of Rashan, and (left) speaker L. Tavares, 31,outside Stoke Newington police station. Picture: Polly Hancock

Today, the family added: “We are aware of the results on the forensic analysis conducted on the package recovered at the scene.

“While this is important, we wish to make clear that the content of the package must not detract from our primary concern, which is to investigate the conduct of those involved in the incident that led to Rashan’s death.”

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