Socialist Worker

No charges for Rashan Charles cop

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2588

Rashan Charles

Rashan Charles

The police officer who stopped 20 year old Rashan Charles will face no charges over his death, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said.

The officer was shown on CCTV chasing Rashan into a shop in Hackney, east London, in July last year. After wrestling him to the ground, the officer holds Rashan in a headlock.

Rashan was taken to hospital and was pronounced dead around an hour later. The exact cause of death has still not been confirmed.

The CPS said the officer could have faced a charge of common assault.

But “the evidential test for a prosecution for common assault is not met”.

Rashan’s family said in a statement, “The CCTV shows a police officer taking very forcible hold of Rashan from behind.

“To us, this seems to show an unnecessary use of force.”


The family added that any changes to police training should not “detract from the question of whether this officer acted lawfully”.

Rashan’s death led to angry protests in Hackney.The Independent Office for Police Conduct, formerly the Independent Police Complaints Commission, is still investigating the officer who restrained Rashan.

He could face gross misconduct charges for his restraint and his handling of the medical emergency.

Immediately following Rashan’s death, a Scotland Yard spokesman said Rashan had been “trying to swallow an object”.

One health worker told Socialist Worker that police told paramedics that Rashan had died of a heart attack after swallowing cocaine.

Several media reports implied that he swallowed drugs to hide them from the cops.

It was later confirmed that a package removed from Rashan’s body contained a mixture of caffeine and paracetamol.

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