Rashan Charles had no Illegal Drugs


The announcement by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) that 20 year old Rashan Charles, who died after being arrested by a Metropolitan police officer in Dalston, Hackney, did not swallow illegal substances will come as a shock to many.

The rationale for the arrest and use of a neck hold restraint, as explained by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), was suspicion of possession of drugs and that Mr Charles had swallowed illegal substances.

The fact that no illegal drugs were found on Rashan Charles and that the item removed from his throat during his autopsy has proven not to be an illegal substance, throws into doubt not only the rationale for the stranglehold, but also the legal basis of his arrest.

Public anxiety and concern will be heightened as a consequence of this new information as Rashan Charles joins the list of people who did not have to die as a result of police arrest or custody.

We call upon the MPS Commissioner, Cressida Dick to urgently review operational policing guidance to Metropolitan police officers, in relation to the arrest of citizens suspected of swallowing illegal substances.

In the light of the report published today by the MPS demonstrating the disproportional application of force used by officers when in contact with black Londoners, it is vital that the new Commissioner investigates the circumstances leading to Rashan Charles' death as a matter of urgency.

Lee Jasper