Socialist Worker

Doubts over Rashan Charles cop report

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2733

Rashan Charles died in 2017

Rashan Charles died in 2017

New research by the Shine A Light group of investigative journalists has raised fresh questions over the police account of the death of Rashan Charles.  

Rashan died after being restrained by police in a shop in Hackney, east London, in July 2017. 

An inquest later returned a verdict of accidental death.  

An officer known as BX47 had chased Rashan into the shop and tackled him to the floor. 

A second man, Witness 1, entered the shop and helped the officer to restrain Rashan.  

Police described him as a “member of the public”. And the inquest heard that the two men had never met before.  

The new research includes CCTV footage that casts doubt on this version of events.  

After paramedics arrive, footage shows Witness 1 and BX47 chatting in an aisle of the shop.

“The pair greet each other with a one-armed embrace,” reported Shine A Light. “The two men clasp hands.  

“In our opinion the video evidence suggests a warm, intimate encounter.”  

Another officer shows Witness 1 an evidence bag and has a discussion with him.  

At the inquest into Rashan’s death, Witness 1 said he felt BX47 was “not one hundred percent” on the night of the restraint. “He was tired,” said Witness 1. “He was not himself.”  

It isn’t clear how Witness 1 would know this, it he had never met BX47 before.  

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