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Officer involved in restraint of man who died should be suspended, says watchdog

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Rashan Charles, 20, died on July 22 having earlier been apprehended by Metropolitan Police officers.

(Lauren Hurley/PA)

The officer who initially restrained a man whose death sparked violent street protests should be suspended from the Met pending further investigation, the police watchdog has said.

Rashan Charles, 20, died on July 22 having earlier been apprehended by Metropolitan Police officers after running into a shop in Dalston, east London.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) confirmed to the Press Association that it had “made representations” to Scotland Yard to suspend the officer.

Mr Charles had run into a shop in Dalston. ( Jonathan Brady/PA)
Mr Charles had run into a shop in Dalston. ( Jonathan Brady/PA)

The spokesman said: “It is not a formal recommendation as such, but a representation. It is now a matter for the police force.

“The representation is based on where we are in the investigation – it’s based on a case by case basis.”

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

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The IPCC previously said it had found that after Mr Rashan was detained, attempts were made to remove an object from his mouth or throat.

It was later revealed that a package removed from his throat contained a mixture of caffeine and paracetamol.

The opening of his inquest last month heard that there had been two post-mortem examinations carried out on the unemployed man, who lived in south-west London – the second on behalf of his family and the police.

The family of Rashan Charles. (Lauren Hurley/PA)
The family of Rashan Charles. (Lauren Hurley/PA)

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But coroner’s officer David Brereton said no medical cause of death had been offered, pending the results of toxicology and other tests.

Mr Charles’s family have previously expressed concerns over the “openness and transparency” of the IPCC investigation into his death.

A full inquest is expected to be held in front of a jury next June.

A peaceful demonstration organised in the wake of Mr Charles’s death was followed by a further protest which turned to violence and disorder.

Protesters set several small fires and threw bottles and fireworks at police officers as unrest broke out on July 28.

Police said no one was seriously injured, although an officer suffered an eye injury.

(Kirsty O'Connor/PA)
(Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “The officer is not suspended or on restricted duties at this time.

“The IPCC served a notice on the officer on Monday September 11.

“As is normal practice, the Metropolitan Police Service then wrote to the IPCC to ask for their views on what restrictions, if any, should be placed on the officer.

“The Met received those representations from the IPCC on Friday September 15 and they are currently being assessed.”

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