1 June 2018

Before HM Coroner for Inner North London, Ms Mary Hassell
St Pancras Coroner’s Court
Opens 10am, Monday 4 June, scheduled for 12 days

Rashan Charles, 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. Concerning CCTV footage of the restraint was widely circulated, and his death has since received significant public attention and concern. Rashan was a father to a young daughter and has been described as caring and generous by his family.

The inquest into his death will open on Monday 4 June. In November 2017 the officers involved were granted anonymity for these proceedings. The names of officers will therefore not be revealed, and their faces will not be visible to the public gallery. The officer who initially restrained Rashan will be referred to as BX47, and another officer involved as BX48. Anonymity was also given to two witnesses.

Rashan’s death came just weeks after 25-year-old Edson da Costa who died following restraint by police officers in Newham, East London. Edson and Rashan’s are two of five deaths of young black men involving restraint in England in 2017.

The family of Rashan Charles have issued the following statement"We support effective policing, fairness and justice, despite poor treatment and disdain throughout the scrutiny of this avoidable death.

We will ensure due deference and respect to the inquest jurors and hope they are permitted to focus solely on facts and actions that took place on Saturday 22 July 2017, rather than speculation and assumptions that currently abound.

We do not expect a fair process, when to date every stage of the investigation has been closed, secretive and hostile, whilst at the same time claiming to be transparent and supportive.

However, we are committed to ensuring fairer scrutiny."

Deborah Coles, Director of INQUEST said: The images of Rashan Charles’ restraint were deeply disturbing, and his death has rightly sparked significant family and community concern. This inquest must robustly explore all the circumstances leading to the use of force and whether the restraint was lawful and proportionate. There are legitimate concerns about over policing and the disproportionate number of deaths following the use of restraint against young black men.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

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, solicitor Kim Vernal of Imran Khan and Partners and by barrister Jude Bunting, Doughty Street Chambers.

The interested parties represented at this inquest are Rashan’s family, the Metropolitan police who will be represented by barrister John Beggs QC and Officers BX47 & BX48 who will be represented by Neil Saunders QC.

Family justice campaign pages can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Background:

Rashan Charles died following restraint by police officers in a shop on Kingsland Road in Dalston, East London at 1:45am on Saturday, 22nd July 2017. CCTV footage of the restraint was widely circulated on social media, and his death has since received significant public attention and concern. The following statements and media releases provide further background on developments.

In the last 12 months INQUEST are aware of the following restraint related deaths of black men:

  • 21 June 2017 - Edson Da Costa, 25, died in Newham, East London following restraint by police six days earlier.
  • 19 July 2017 - Darren Cumberbatch, 32, died in Nuneaton, Warwickshire following restraint by police.
  • 15 July 2017 - Shane Bryant, 29, died in Leicestershire following restraint by members of public and police two days earlier.
  • 23 July 2017 - Rashan Charles, 20, died in Hackney, East London following restraint by police.
  • 24 November 2017 - Nuno Cardoso, 25, died in Oxford following restraint by police. 
  • 9 March 2018 - Kevin Clarke35, died in Lewisham, South London following restraint by police. 

In October 2017 the landmark Independent review of deaths and serious incidents in police custody by Dame Elish Angiolini QC was published. Commissioned by Theresa May when she was home secretary, the reviews recommendations included tackling discrimination, through recognition of the disproportionate number of deaths of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups following restraint and the role of institutional racism, both within IPCC investigations and police training.