16 August 2018

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) have today published their investigation report into the death of Rashan Charles. Rashan, a 20-year-old black man died following restraint by Metropolitan Police officers in Hackney, East London in the early hours of Saturday 22 July 2017.

The IOPC concluded that the performance of the officer who restrained Rashan ‘fell short of expected standards’ but did not amount to misconduct. They have recommended that the officer undergo unsatisfactory performance procedures, rather than professional misconduct procedures. The Metropolitan Police have accepted this.

This follows the publication (on 14 August) of a Prevention of Future Deaths report by HM Coroner Mary Hassell, raising issues with police training around recognising choking and managing bystander participation.

The Charles family did not wish to make a statement at this time.

Lucy McKay, Policy and Communications Officer at INQUEST, said: “The IOPC note that the restraint technique used was ‘unorthodox’ but did not find this amounted to misconduct. They highlight the stressful and exhausting circumstances faced by the officer. The same generous considerations were not afforded to Rashan, in life or in death.

Much like the inquest conclusion, it is hard to reconcile the IOPC’s decision with the evidence. This death occurred in the context of decades of disproportionate use of force, over policing and criminalisation of young black men. This decision again fails to bring the level of accountability the family and public need.”

The solicitor for the family, Mr Imran Khan QC said:We are discussing with Rashan’s family the content of the IOPC’s findings and actively considering challenges to the decision because they are extremely disappointed by the findings of the IOPC and are particularly concerned by the manner in which they have been treated throughout the investigation process. Regrettably, the IOPC, not unlike its predecessor the IPCC, has not delivered the accountability and justice that this family deserve and the public require in order to have any confidence in the way in which it deals with and investigates complaints against the police. 

Rashan Charles, a young man at the beginning of his life, died in 21st century London following contact with a police officer, yet no police officer has faced any meaningful sanction whatsoever. The tragic and untimely death of Rashan could have been an opportunity for learning lessons so that abhorrent practices could be fundamentally changed. That opportunity now appears to have been lost with the risk that such an event might happen again.”



For further information, please contact Lucy McKay on 020 7263 1111 or here. 

INQUEST has been working with the family of Rashan Charles since his death. The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members: Imran Khan QC, assisted by Daniel Cooper, Trainee Solicitor at Imran Khan and Partners.

The inquest into the death of Rashan Charles concluded in June and found his death was ‘accidental’. His family do not accept this conclusion, as discussed in the Guardian.