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IOPC investigation into death of Rashan Charles finds no misconduct by officers

News   •   Aug 15, 2018 12:39 BST

The Metropolitan Police Service is aware of the completion of an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct into the death of Rashan Charles, who died in Hackney in July 2017.

The investigation has concluded that no officer should face gross misconduct or misconduct proceedings.

The IOPC recommended that an officer referred to in court as BX47 had a case to answer for unsatisfactory performance around their use of first aid, not calling an ambulance sooner and some aspects of the officer’s restraint technique, although BX47’s actions did not cause any injury to Mr Charles’ throat nor directly contribute to his death.

The MPS has agreed with these findings and this will be taken forward under unsatisfactory performance proceedings.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Richard Martin, responsible for Professionalism, said: “The conclusion of the IOPC investigation supports the recent finding by the inquest jury, that BX47 lawfully and justifiably apprehended and restrained Mr Charles. When it became apparent Mr Charles was in difficulty, first aid and CPR was carried out but nothing BX47 nor their colleague could have done would have saved his life.

“The IOPC investigation has identified some learning to take forward for BX47 and this will be progressed.

“"The death of anyone after involvement with police is a matter of deep regret and our thoughts and sympathies remain with all those affected.”

On Wednesday, 20 June, a jury returned a verdict of accidental death at an inquest into Mr Charles’ death.

The medical cause of death was cardiac arrest caused by upper airway obstruction - created by the package Mr Charles had concealed in his own mouth - during a period of restraint by police.

The jury also gave a narrative in which they said BX47 was justified in the use of force to handcuff Mr Charles and bring him to the floor.

Whilst they found BX47 subsequently did not follow protocol in responding to problems with Mr Charles' breathing and the suspected swallowed package, and the officer should have called for the London Ambulance Service sooner, this would not have changed the course of events and Mr Charles' life could not have been saved.

The jury found a second officer - a police medic referred to as BX48 - acted correctly in administering first aid and commencing CPR.

The IOPC made no findings in respect of BX48.

The MPS has received a report from the coroner following the inquest and will respond to her recommendations, around potential updates for training of officers, in due course.