Rashan Charles: Family ‘extremely disappointed’ by IOPC findings and are considering legal challenge
PUBLISHED: 17:46 15 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:31 22 August 2018
The family of Rashan Charles are “extremely disappointed” with the results of an investigation into his death by the police watchdog, and are considering challenging it.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) today published the findings of its year-long probe into the 20-year-old’s death in Dalston last year.
Rashan was chased by a police officer and wrestled to the ground in Yours Locally, Kingsland Road, Dalston. A cellophane package containing paracetamol and caffeine was retrieved from his throat by a paramedic and he was taken to hospital. But he died an hour later because obstruction of his airways had led to cardiac arrest. His death sparked protests in Kingsland Road and outside Stoke Newington police station.
In June an inquest ruled his death was accidental.
The IOPC found that although the officer “froze” and his performance “fell short of expected standards”, it did not amount to misconduct and did not lead to Rashan’s death.
Now, Imran Khan, acting on behalf of Rashan’s family, said: “We are discussing with Rashan’s family the content of the IOPC’s findings and actively considering challenges to the decision because they are extremely disappointed by the findings, and are particularly concerned by the manner in which they have been treated throughout the investigation process.
“Regrettably, the IOPC, not unlike its predecessor the IPCC, has not delivered the accountability and justice this family deserve and the public require in order to have any confidence in the way in which it deals with and investigates complaints against the police.
“Rashan Charles, a young man at the beginning of his life, died in 21st century London following contact with a police officer, yet no police officer has faced any meaningful sanction whatsoever.
“The tragic and untimely death of Rashan could have been an opportunity for learning lessons so that abhorrent practices could be fundamentally changed. That opportunity now appears to have been lost with the risk that such an event might happen again.”
Rashan’s uncle Rod, an ex Met officer of 20 years, has also labelled the inquest a “farce”. Writing in the Gazette on the first anniversary of Rashan’s death, he said he did not accept the verdict because it was based on the “flawed” IOPC investigation.