Riot police disperse Rashan Charles demo throwing missiles at officers in Dalston, London

Riot police have charged protestors in Dalston, Hackney, North London, after protests at the death of a local man during an arrest turned violent.

Protesters had gathered in Kingsland Road, Hackney, after a non-violent vigil during the day, holding Black Lives Matter placards, and banners asking for answers from the IPCC investigation into the local lad’s death. But as riot police filled the streets and mattresses were set on fire, bottles and fireworks thrown, violence broke out about 8pm.

20-year-old Rashan Charles died in the early hours of last Saturday after swallowing “an object” as he was chased by police into a late night store in east London.

Scotland Yard said they chased the man into the shop on Kingsland Road in Hackney after stopping a car at 1:45am on Saturday morning.

The youth went into the Turkish-run Yours Locally convenience store where he was seen by police “trying to swallow an object”.

CCTV footage taken from one of the store’s 15 cameras inside the shop circulated on social media showing police officers grabbing the man and there is an ugly scuffle on the floor, before he became ill:

Ambulance crews were called and he was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital where he died an hour later.

The Met’s Chief Superintendent Simon Laurence, Borough commander for Hackney police, said: “In the early hours of Saturday, 21 July, officers attempted to stop a car on Kingsland Road.

“A man, who was in the car, was pursued on foot before entering a shop where he was seen to be trying to swallow an object. He was then taken ill.

“He was taken to hospital by the London Ambulance Service where, sadly, he died later that morning.

“Our thoughts remain with his family and friends.”

He said the Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched an investigation and has viewed officers body worn cameras and CCTV footage from the shop.

A spokesman for the IPCC said it has obtained evidence which indicates an object was removed from his throat at the scene.

The borough commander added: “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.”

A IPCC said it declared an independent investigation at 3.10am and investigators were at the scene shortly afterwards to gather CCTV and witness statements.

The CCTV footage of the incident went viral on social media and has heightened tensions locally in an area where police community relations have always been notoriously fraught.

A peaceful daytime vigil on Friday began to turn ugly on Friday night as riot police filled the streets of Hackney. Missiles were reported thrown at riot police who blocked roads and were seen charging at people.

Blockades that protestors had placed across roads were set on fire and flaming missiles thrown as well as bottles.
Earlier on Friday, Rashan Charles family had pleaded for calm and dignity.

But by dark violence erupted around Dalston and Stoke Newington in scenes local streets had not seen since the 2011 London riots following the death of Mark Duggan, shot dead by police in Tottenham.

It’s just one month since the death of Edir “Edson” Frederico Da Costa in Newham, East London. “Edson” sustained multiple injuries during his arrest, was put in an induced coma and died days later in hospital.
Friday night’s protests are a culmination of a week of protesting about Rashan Charles’ death.

 

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