Diane Abbott: Rashan Charles probe findings will cause deep concern
The shadow home secretary called for urgent work to be done to rebuild trust between police and the community.
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.
We await the post mortem preliminary report. A review of investigative actions so far was published on Friday pic.twitter.com/sGvYEqCYy4— IPCC (@IPCCNews) August 2, 2017
The watchdog said on Wednesday that an object removed from the 20-year-old’s throat by paramedics “did not contain a controlled substance”.
Forensic testing shows the substance in the package paramedics removed from Rashan's throat was not a controlled sunstance— IPCC (@IPCCNews) August 2, 2017
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 July 22.
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.
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.
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 police medic who provided assistance prior to the arrival of paramedics, according to the IPCC.
On Tuesday figures released for the first time showed Metropolitan Police officers used “force” at a rate of around once every 10 minutes.
There were 12,605 incidents of force against people by individual officers were registered in the three months to the end of June.
The data showed 45% of the individuals subject to force were white, 36% black and 10% from the Asian community.