22 January 2018

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, the police officer seen on CCTV forcibly detaining Rashan Charles on the night that he died will not face a charge of common assault. 

Family statement:

“The family do not understand the CPS's decision not to prosecute this officer for even a low level common assault. The CCTV shows a police officer taking very forcible hold of Rashan from behind, putting him to the ground and handcuffing him. To us, this seems to show an unnecessary use of force. For there to be public confidence in policing we call for due process in the form of a criminal trial. We are aware that the IOPC has also raised concerns about police training on mouth searches, but this should not detract from the question of whether this officer acted lawfully, and if not, whether this played a part in Rashan's untimely death."

Deborah Coles, director of INQUEST said:

“The routine lack of criminal action following police deaths is the single greatest source of anger and pain for families who expect and demand a system capable of delivering justice and accountability. 

The family of Rashan Charles have every reason to feel bitterly let down at a decision which many will find difficult to reconcile with the CCTV evidence widely seen. The processes that now follow must provide this family with answers as to how the actions which ended with Rashan’s death were lawful and justified. 

Continuing serious concerns about the disproportionate number of young black men who are dying following police restraint must be addressed.”

Carolynn Gallwey, family’s solicitor, Bhatt Murphy:

The family’s focus remains on establishing why it has been decided that this officer’s use of force was justified and proportionate, and on fully exploring whether this played a role in Rashan’s death.”





For further information, please contact Lucy McKay on 020 7263 1111 or [email protected]

INQUEST has been working with the family of Rashan Charles since his death. The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Carolynn Gallwey and Chanel Dolcy, Bhatt Murphy Solicitors, and at the PIR by Jude Bunting, Doughty Street Chambers.

INQUEST is the only charity providing expertise on state related deaths and their investigation to bereaved people, lawyers, advice and support agencies, the media and parliamentarians. Our specialist casework includes death in police and prison custody, immigration detention, mental health settings and deaths involving multi-agency failings or where wider issues of state and corporate accountability are in question, such as the deaths and wider issues around Hillsborough and Grenfell Tower. Our policy, parliamentary, campaigning and media work is grounded in the day to day experience of working with bereaved people.


Please refer to INQUEST the organisation in all capital letters in order to distinguish it from the legal hearing.