SHADOW home secretary Diane Abbott voiced “deep concern” yesterday as two reports raised new questions over the death in custody of Rashan Charles and highlighted staggering levels of physical force being used against minorities by London Met.
The Met initially said Charles, who died on July 22 after being restrained in a shop in Dalston, was “seen to be trying to swallow an object” and was “then taken ill.”
The report was widely taken as meaning that Charles’s death was drug-related, but the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said on Wednesday that an object removed from the 20-year-old’s throat by paramedics “did not contain a controlled substance.”
The IPCC said the evidence so far suggested a police officer restrained Charles with the help of a member of the public, he was handcuffed and attempts were then made to remove an object from his mouth or throat.
Separately, the IPCC has also released figures showing that in the three months to the end of June Met officers used “force” every 10 minutes on average.
Of a total of 12,605 registered incidents 45 per cent were white, 36 per cent black and 10 per cent from the Asian community.
Ms Abbott, who is MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, said trust between the community and police must urgently be restored.
She said: “The IPCC’s update, coupled with the release of a Metropolitan Police report highlighting a disproportionate use of force against black and minority ethnic people, will no doubt cause deep concern and upset.”
Following clashes between local people and police last Friday, she said: “There must be justice for Rashan and his family, but there is absolutely no cause for any more violence.”