Man dies after swallowing object during arrest

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating the death of a man who tried to swallow an object following a police pursuit.

Jul 24, 2017

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating the death of a man who tried to swallow an object following a police pursuit. The 20-year-old, named locally as Rashan Charles, was chased into a London shop after officers tried to stop a car at 1.45am on Saturday (July 22). Footage widely circulated online shows a Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officer attempting to detain Mr Charles, before tackling him to the floor and apparently trying to remove something from his mouth. The MPS confirmed Mr Charles was “trying to swallow an object” and fell ill, before being taken to the Royal London Hospital where he later died. The IPCC was deployed to the scene and the post-incident procedure at 3.10am for an independent inquiry. Initial accounts have been taken from members of the public as well as the police officers involved, and body-worn video footage has been viewed. Investigators have retrieved evidence showing that an object was removed from Mr Charles’ throat at the scene. A spokesperson said the 20-year-old was a passenger in the stopped vehicle. The incident has sparked outrage among campaigners and Mr Charles’ family, who questioned the level of force used in his arrest. It comes just weeks after 25-year-old Edson da Costa died in similar circumstances following an arrest in Beckton. Chief Superintendent Simon Laurence, borough commander for Hackney, said: “There is likely to be speculation over the next few days regarding what led to this man becoming ill, so I would encourage people to keep up-to-date with the IPCC’s statements, as and when they are released. “All police officers are fully aware that they will be asked to account for their actions – officers are not exempt from the law and we would not wish to be.”

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