New evidence, fresh questions about death of young Black Londoner Rashan Charles

Rashan Charles
Rashan Charles – Image Credit Rashan Campaign

source: Open Democracy
published: 26 November 2020

Police claimed the man who helped an officer restrain and handcuff Rashan Charles was “a member of the public” with no police connection. CCTV evidence raises doubts. Shine A Light exclusive (distressing content).

Rashan Charles was a healthy young man out with friends in East London when a uniformed police officer from the elite Territorial Support Group chased him into a convenience store. Without any verbal warning, the officer grabbed Rashan from behind, threw him to the floor and heavily restrained him.

A second man assisted the officer. Rashan, who was unarmed and presented no threat, died on the floor of the Yours Locally shop on Hackney’s Kingsland Road in the early hours of 22 July 2017. He was 20 years old, the eldest of seven children and a father himself, his daughter coming up to her second birthday at the time.

The Metropolitan Police Service claimed that the man who helped the officer restrain and handcuff Rashan was a “member of the public”, a helpful bystander who had no connection to the police or security services.

At the inquest into Rashan’s death, in June 2018, both men, giving evidence while screened from public view, claimed under oath that they had not met one another until the fatal incident. Since lawyers representing the police obtained an anonymity order forbidding identification of either man, these claims cannot be verified.

The day after Rashan’s death, we published a Shine A Light article challenging the official story that Rashan was “taken ill” after “trying to swallow an object” and that the police officer “intervened and sought to prevent the man from harming himself”.

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