Rashan Charles ‘had paracetamol and caffeine packet in throat after chase death’
The IPCC said it had released some information from its investigation in response to “the inflammatory nature of some ongoing speculation”.
An object removed from the throat of a black man who died after a police chase “consisted of a mixture of paracetamol and caffeine wrapped in plastic”, according to forensic analysis.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which launched an investigation following Rashan Charles’ death on July 22, said it was taking the decision to release information “given the inflammatory nature of some ongoing speculation”.
IPCC commissioner Cindy Butts said: “At this stage we have not been provided with a confirmed cause of death for Rashan and our investigation is ongoing.”
3 August: statement from Commissioner Cindy Butts, regarding the ongoing Rashan Charles investigation. pic.twitter.com/WCYEt0exxd— IPCC (@IPCCNews) August 3, 2017
Last week, the IPCC said the evidence it had seen so far suggested 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.
In a statement, Ms Butts said: “Yesterday, we received analysis of the contents of a package that paramedics removed from Rashan’s airway after he was detained and restrained by a police officer and a member of the public.
“Following a very constructive meeting with Rashan’s family, we stated that the package did not contain controlled substances.
“We did not provide further details, because the contents of the package are not directly relevant to our investigation – we are looking into the circumstances of Rashan’s death, not investigating Rashan.
“However, given the inflammatory nature of some ongoing speculation, I will confirm that the package consisted of a mixture of paracetamol and caffeine wrapped in plastic.”
She said no cause of death had been confirmed.
Ms Butts said the IPCC echoed Mr Charles’ appeal for calm, after a wave of angry protests and violent clashes amid accusations of alleged police brutality.
The police watchdog’s announcement came after shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said the initial forensic findings would cause “deep concern” after figures showed a “disproportionate” use of force against minority groups by police.
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 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.