Socialist Worker

Rashan Charles’ father says ‘I am heartbroken, this has to stop’

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2564

Flowers left by the shop where Rashan was stopped by police in Dalston on Saturday

Flowers left by the shop where Rashan was stopped by police in Dalston on Saturday (Pic: Dave Gilchrist)


The father of Rashan Charles, who died on Saturday after being stopped by police, has spoken to Socialist Worker about his loss.

Rashan died after being thrown to the ground by a police officer in a shop in Hackney, east London.

Campaigners plan to hold a vigil at Stoke Newington police station later today, Monday, to remember him and to call for justice.

Rashan’s dad Esa told Socialist Worker, “I think it was obviously excessive force that was used. I feel very appalled by it. I’m dealing with this situation, and it’s very difficult when it’s your own child. I’m grieving and all of us, the entire family, are grieving at the moment.

“I am heartbroken.”

CCTV footage shows an officer throwing Rashan to the floor in a headlock. He was taken to hospital and died around an hour later.

Rashan’s death came a month after Edson Da Costa died after being stopped by police in east London. Another black man, Darren Cumberbatch, also died last month after being arrested by police in Nuneaton, Coventry.

Esa said of the police, “You’re supposed to be there to protect and serve. It’s not a great position to be in if you’re going to use excessive force, and not allow a child to breathe or have a life.

“It’s appalling. Everybody who’s in police custody could be manhandled. I don’t like that at all.”

Esa said he hoped that people would join the vigil this evening. “I can understand that people want to do something,” he said. “People see it on the news and they get affected by it.

“I hope everybody can have a peaceful protest. And we want people to come forward who were there too, witnesses. We do not want the same thing happening again. We definitely don’t want it to happen to anybody else – we want it to stop.”

Go to #justiceforRash on Twitter. Join the vigil - Monday 24 July at 6.30pm outside Stoke Newington police station. For more information go to bit.ly/2eGevKv

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