Rashan Charles: Police taking no responsibility for death has set back community relations by generations – family

PUBLISHED: 17:39 20 June 2018 | UPDATED: 17:43 20 June 2018

The vigil for Rashan outside the Yours Locally shop in Kingsland High Street. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

The vigil for Rashan outside the Yours Locally shop in Kingsland High Street. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Picture: Emma Bartholomew

The family of Rashan Charles say police not taking any responsibility for his death has set back community relations by “generations”.

They also said they will continue their search for answers after an inquest found his death was an accident after “justified use of force” by a police officer.

Jurors at St Pancras Coroner’s Court returned their narrative verdict today after two weeks of evidence at St Pancras Coroner’s Court.

They found Rashan demonstrated resistance during restraint, and the police officer brought him to the ground to get better control of him through “justified use of force”.

They said the officer – referred to throughout the inquest as BX47 – did not follow prescribed police protocol for when someone is not breathing and suspected of swallowing drugs.

They also said the impact of a bystander who assisted in the restraint was not managed by the officer who failed to call an ambulance using the override button on his police radio.

But they said none of the actions taken by the police medic or paramedics contributed to Rashan’s death.

Speaking after the findings, Rashan’s family said in a statement: “Rashan Charles was a young father and an integral part of his family. He is greatly missed by all of us.

“We believe the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation was flawed from the outset.

“We were left out of key decisions, evidence was excluded, police worn video missing and time frames manipulated.

“The submissions by the family barrister were overturned in court and evidence dismissed. However, it is important we afford due respect to the jury who had to make a decision based on the limited evidence and confines put upon them.

“The two expert witnesses on restraint had 75 years combined service in the Met police, and one still serving.

“This appears to us neither objective, independent or impartial. The police projected a criminal caricature of Rashan even after his death. This successfully served to detract from the events of 22nd July 2017.

“We are not adversaries of the police. This is about the conduct of individual police officers. However, the absence of admission of any responsibility does not stall community relations by weeks or years, but sets it back generations.

“This part of the flawed system is over, our work to receive answers continues.”

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