Rashan Charles: Diane Abbott says police watchdog’s findings will ‘cause deep concern’

Diane Abbott has said initial findings of a probe into the death of Rashan Charles will cause deep concern after figures showed a “disproportionate” use of force against minority groups by police.

The Shadow Home Secretary said urgent work must be done to rebuild trust between police and the community after the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) published preliminary results from its investigation.

The watchdog said on Wednesday that an object removed from the 20-year-old’s throat by paramedics “did not contain a controlled substance”.

Unverified footage on social media appeared to show at least one police officer attempting to restrain Mr Charles on the floor of a shop in east London before he died later in hospital on 22 July.

Ms Abbott said: “The IPCC’s update, coupled with the release of a Metropolitan Police report highlighting a disproportionate use of force against BME (black and minority ethnic) people, will no doubt cause deep concern and upset.

“Urgent work must be done to rebuild trust and links between the police and the community.”

Mr Charles’ death sparked clashes with police in Hackney on Friday as demonstrators hurled bottles and fireworks at officers.

Ms Abbott said the violent demonstrations were “wrong” and she joined with Mr Charles’ family in calling for peace.

“There must be justice for Rashan and his family, but there is absolutely no cause for any more violence,” the Hackney North and Stoke Newington Labour MP said.

CCTV shows Mr Charles being apprehended by a police officer at the shop in Dalston (Screengrab)

The IPCC said its investigation into the circumstances of Mr Charles’s death following contact with police in Hackney is “ongoing and making good progress”.

The watchdog said: “Our independent investigation is thoroughly examining all aspects of police interaction with Rashan prior to his death and has already undertaken a large number of investigative actions.”

Last week, the IPCC said the evidence it had seen so far suggested that Mr Charles was detained by a Metropolitan Police officer who had followed him on foot into a shop on Kingsland Road after an earlier attempted vehicle stop.

The officer restrained Mr Charles, with the help of a member of the public, and he was handcuffed.

Diane Abbott calls for peace at Rashan Charles vigil

After he was detained, attempts were made to remove an object from his mouth or throat.

His condition deteriorated, and the officer called for a…

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