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Rashan Charles: Police react to 'accidental death' verdict, say they will learn from any recommendations

PUBLISHED: 17:29 20 June 2018

A photo of Rashan Charles among flowers laid outside Yours Locally in Kingsland Road following his death. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

A photo of Rashan Charles among flowers laid outside Yours Locally in Kingsland Road following his death. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

Emma Bartholomew

The Met has reacted to the "accidental death" verdict in Rashan Charles's inquest and said it will consider any recommendations coroner Mary Hassell makes.

Riot police in Kingsland Road as a protest over the death of Rashan Charles saw tensions flare last summer. Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA WireRiot police in Kingsland Road as a protest over the death of Rashan Charles saw tensions flare last summer. Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

The jury’s narrative verdict said the officer who restrained the 20-year-old on the floor of Yours Locally in Kingsland Road was justified in his use of force to handcuff Rashan and tackle him to the floor.

They found BX47 – as the constable was referred to throughout the inquest – did not follow protocol in responding to problems with Rashan’s breathing and the suspected swallowed package, and the officer should have called foran ambulance sooner. But they said it would not have saved Rashan’s life.

The jury also found a second officer – a police medic referred to as BX48 – acted correctly in administering first aid and carrying out CPR.

Rashan’s death sparked protests in Kingsland Road and outside Stoke Newington police station.

And the inquest was labelled a farce by his uncle Rod Charles, a former Met Ch Insp.

Deputy assistant commissioner Richard Martin, responsible for professionalism in the force, said: “The death of anyone after involvement with police is a matter of deep regret and our thoughts and sympathies remain with all those affected.

“Having listened to all the evidence, the jury found that the officer that day lawfully and justifiably apprehended and restrained Mr Charles.

“When it became apparent Mr Charles was in difficulty, first aid and CPR was carried out but nothing the officers could have done would have saved his life.

“The MPS must now take time to consider the detail of the narrative and any recommendations the Coroner may make in her subsequent report. If there is learning to take forward for the Met as a whole we will take action where we need to.

“The Independent Office for Police Conduct has carried out an independent investigation into Mr Charles’ death. We understand that investigation is complete and we await the findings.

“Mr Charles’ death has of course had an impact on the community and local police ward officers have been working hard to address any concerns and ensure they are visible and available to offer reassurance. That work continues.”

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