An investigation has been launched into the death in Dalston of a 20-year-old man who had been chased by police.
Officers ran after the man, locally named as Rashan Charles, after trying to stop a car in which he had been travelling in Kingsland Road at around 1:45am on Saturday. Charles, reportedly a passenger in the car is said to have run into a shop, called Yours Locally, followed by an officer and allegedly tried to swallow something before being taken ill.
CCTV footage circulating online shows a man entering the shop pursued by an officer before the pair have an altercation on the floor.
In the footage, the man appears to put his hand to his mouth. The officer is seen being helped by another in plain clothes before the man is seen handcuffed with his hands behind his back.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it had opened an official investigation, taking statements from eyewitnesses and police officers and reviewing footage of the incident from security cameras, as well as from police body-worn cameras.
A spokesperson for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said:
“The IPCC has obtained evidence which indicates an object was removed from his throat at the scene. The man was then transported to the Royal London Hospital, where he sadly died soon afterwards.
“The man became unwell and first aid was provided by a police officer, police medic and paramedics.”
Scotland Yard said the officer “intervened and sought to prevent the man from harming himself”.
Charles was pronounced dead at 2:55am Saturday morning after being taken to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.
CCTV footage showing the incident began circulating on social media with the hashtag #JusticeForRash.
Hackney borough commander Chief Superintendent Simon Laurence said: “There is likely to be speculation over the next few days regarding what led to this man becoming ill, so I would encourage people to keep up-to-date with the IPCC’s statements, as and when they are released.
“All police officers are fully aware that they will be asked to account for their actions – officers are not exempt from the law and we would not wish to be,” said Laurence. “Our thoughts remain with his family and friends.”
Scotland Yard said Charles’ family had been informed and a post-mortem examination would be held to determine the cause of death.
Police are appealing for information from anyone who was in the Kingsland Road and Middleton Road area of Hackney. Anyone who saw the incident is asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org