The death of Rashan Charles: “Why I challenge the official story”

Rashan Charles
Rashan Charles – Image Credit Rashan Campaign

source: openDemocracy
published: 5 June 2019

One Saturday two summers ago, in the early hours, a young black man called Rashan Charles died on the floor of a Hackney convenience store.

The police claimed that Rashan had been “taken ill” after “trying to swallow an object” and that a police officer “intervened and sought to prevent the man from harming himself”.

That’s not what happened. My name is Rod Charles. Rashan was my nephew.

Last summer, on Shine A Light, we examined the store’s security video that showed what really happened to Rashan. I shared my analysis, based on my training and 30 years’ experience with the Metropolitan Police — I retired as a Chief Inspector four years ago. We saw the visual evidence, we noted what the police officer did and what he failed to do.

Today, we’ll assess just some of the official claims that have been made about Rashan’s death. Let’s see how they stand up to scrutiny.

In the hours after Rashan died, the Metropolitan Police claimed that he was “taken ill” after “trying to swallow an object”. A police officer had “intervened” to “prevent the man from harming himself”.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC, since rebranded as the Independent Office for Police Conduct, IOPC) echoed the Metropolitan Police story. In its first statement the IPCC claimed: “The man became unwell and first aid was provided by a police officer, police medic and paramedics.”

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