Answers demanded after police chase death

Hundreds marched to voice concern over the death of the young father Pic: QueeniesSoapbox – Twitter

Crowds gathered outside Stoke Newington Police Station on Monday night following the death of a 20-year-old man who died after being chased by police.

Friends and family of Rashan Charles, along with anti-racism campaigners, held a vigil in front of the station to express grief and concern over his death.

The vigil was organised by the anti-discrimination group Stand Up To Racism which said it was “enormously concerned and angered” over his sudden death.

Campaigners marched to the convenience store in Dalston which the young father ran into after a police chase, shouting: “No justice, no peace – f*** the police.”

Hackney borough commander Chief Superintendent Simon Laurence addressed the crowd early in the evening: “I understand the community want answers about what happened and no explanation can come quickly enough for a family in mourning.

“This is now subject to an independent investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

“It is their job to investigate this incident and their work started on Saturday.”

More than 300 people attended the vigil and march, many holding up Black Lives Matter banners.

There were reports of bricks and bottles being thrown at officers as well as fires set by marchers, however Scotland Yard confirmed there were no arrests made or officers injured during Monday night’s protest.

Charles’ father called for peace as crowds assembled: “I’m a father but my son was killed in the hands of police. Me and my family are grieving over this.

“I thank everyone for their support, it’s a comfort to us to read your messages. We are seeking justice on this but I want everybody to be peaceful. This is not something we are going to take into our own hands.”

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) opened an investigation over the weekend after Charles was tackled by an officer at Yours Locally in Kingsland Road. Charles allegedly tried to swallow something before being taken ill.

Scotland Yard said the officer “intervened and sought to prevent the man from harming himself”.

The IPCC used the hashtag #JusticeForRash to direct protesters to their Twitter feed for updates on the investigation. The hashtag became popular after CCTV footage reportedly showing the altercation was circulated widely on social media.

A follow-up protest is being planned for Saturday.

Leave a Reply