The police officer who restrained Rashan Charles hours before his death is facing an investigation for “gross misconduct”, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has confirmed.
Charles, who was 20 years old, died on 22 July following a police chase.
CCTV footage from the Dalston shop where the arrest took place appears to show the officer throwing Charles to the ground.
The youngster later died at the Royal London Hospital, where a mixture of caffeine and paracetamol wrapped in plastic was removed from his throat.
In a statement today, IPCC chief Cindy Butts said the watchdog’s investigation has now “entered a new phase”, adding: “IPCC investigators have formally notified the officer who initially restrained Rashan that he is being investigated for gross misconduct.
“The officer may have breached the police standards of professional behaviour regarding the detention and restraint of Rashan as well as how he dealt with Rashan’s medical emergency.
“Our investigators have analysed the CCTV and body worn video evidence we gathered and considered the officer’s detailed statement as well as statements from other witnesses to the incident. We have also considered the relevant policies and procedures.”
Butts said the announcement “does not necessarily mean misconduct proceedings will follow”, and said the police officer’s position will be kept “under review” as the investigation progresses.
In a statement reacting to the IPCC’s announcement, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) said: “It is absolutely vital that the facts of what took place are thoroughly established as quickly as possible through an independent examination of all the available evidence.
“The thoughts of the MPS are with the family of Mr Charles at this incredibly difficult time for them.
“All police officers are fully aware that they will be asked to account for their actions. No officer is above the law and they would not wish to be.
“The MPS continues to provide every possible support to the police officer and their colleagues while fully co-operating with the IPCC investigation.
“The MPS will now be reviewing what restrictions, if any, should be placed on the officer. In reaching that decision the MPS will liaise with the IPCC, as is usual.”