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Rashan Charles: Police officer who restrained young dad in Dalston being investigated for ‘gross misconduct’

PUBLISHED: 14:31 13 September 2017 | UPDATED: 18:47 15 September 2017

Flowers were laid outside Yours Locally in Kingsland Road following the death of Rashan Charles. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Flowers were laid outside Yours Locally in Kingsland Road following the death of Rashan Charles. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Emma Bartholomew

The officer who restrained Rashan Charles in a Dalston shop before the teen died is being investigated for gross misconduct, the police watchdog has said.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has analysed CCTV footage that was widely circulated following Rashan’s death on July 22, as well as body-worn cameras from officers at the scene.

The 20-year-old father-of-one died hours after being chased into Yours Locally, Kingsland Road, at 1.45am on July 22, where he was grappled to the floor by the police officer having swallowed paracetamol and caffeine wrapped in cellophane.

His death led to major protests outside Stoke Newington Police Station and in Kingsland Road, with the community believing he was the victim of police brutality.

The cause of death is not likely to be made public until next summer, when the IPCC investigation is complete.

IPCC Commissioner Cindy Butts said: “The investigation has entered a new phase.

“IPCC investigators have formally notified the officer who initially restrained Rashan that he is being investigated for gross misconduct.

“The officer may have breached the police standards of professional behaviour regarding the detention and restraint of Rashan as well as how he dealt with Rashan’s medical emergency.

“Our investigators have analysed the CCTV and body worn video evidence we gathered and considered the officer’s detailed statement as well as statements from other witnesses to the incident.

“We have also considered the relevant policies and procedures.

“While this move indicates a new phase in our investigation it does not necessarily mean misconduct proceedings will follow. We will keep the position under review as the investigation progresses.”

The Met responded to the IPCC announcement. A spokesman said: “It is absolutely vital the facts of what took place are thoroughly established as quickly as possible through an independent examination of all the available evidence.

“The thoughts of the MPS are with the family of Mr Charles at this incredibly difficult time for them.

“All police officers are fully aware that they will be asked to account for their actions. No officer is above the law and they would not wish to be.

“The MPS continues to provide every possible support to the police officer and their colleagues while fully co-operating with the IPCC investigation.

“The MPS will now be reviewing what restrictions, if any, should be placed on the officer. In reaching that decision the MPS will liaise with the IPCC, as is usual.”

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