Gross misconduct inquiry over Rashan Charles death

An officer has been told he will be investigated for possible gross misconduct in restraining a 20-year-old and trying to prevent him swallowing a package.

Sep 13, 2017

An officer has been told he will be investigated for possible gross misconduct in restraining a 20-year-old and trying to prevent him swallowing a package. Rashan Charles died in July after being detained by a Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officer in a shop in Hackney, East London. CCTV footage showed the officer forcing him to the ground and trying to retrieve a small package from his throat. Now the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has notified the officer that he is being investigated for potential gross misconduct. The MPS said it is providing “every possible support” to the officer in question and his colleagues. IPCC Commissioner Cindy Butts said: “The officer may have breached the police standards of professional behaviour regarding the detention and restraint of Rashan as well as how he dealt with Rashan’s medical emergency.” Mr Charles’ death sparked public outcry and violent clashes when demonstrators pelted police officers with fireworks and missiles. The exact cause of his death is still yet to be revealed. Last month, the IPCC was criticised for “fanning the flames” of mistrust by announcing the substance Mr Charles had swallowed was not controlled but failing to specify what it was. It later revealed the parcel contained a mixture of Paracetamol and caffeine. A full inquest will take place in June 2018. Ms Butts said: “While this move indicates a new phase in our investigation it does not necessarily mean misconduct proceedings will follow. “We will keep the position under review as the investigation progresses.” A MPS spokesperson said it is “absolutely vital that the facts of what took place are thoroughly investigated as quickly as possible through an independent examination of all the available evidence”. They added: “The thoughts of the MPS are with the family of Mr Charles at this incredibly difficult time for them.”

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