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Man whose death prompted east London riots 'did not have controlled substance' in throat

Rashan Charles was chased by police into a shop in east London, and later died in hospital.

The father of Rashan Charles (middle) at a vigil for his son last weekend.
The father of Rashan Charles (middle) at a vigil for his son last weekend.
Image: Lauren Hurley/PA Images

AN ITEM REMOVED from the throat of a young black man who died following a police chase in east London “did not contain a controlled substance”, according to forensic analysis.

The death of Rashan Charles prompted angry protests in the east London area of Dalston last weekend, with rioters pushing mattresses, wheelie bins, traffic cones and rubbish onto the streets meaning no cars were able to pass.

Charles had been chased by police into a shop in Dalston, where he was restrained. Officers said they had seen him swallow an item, and attempts were made to remove it. He was then taken to hospital, where he died a short time later.

His death is subject to an investigation from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), and that body released an update of its progress to date yesterday.

It said: “The IPCC has now received results of forensic analysis of an object that was removed from Rashan’s airway by paramedics.

The object did not contain a controlled substance.

The IPCC has also met with Charles’ family and provided them with an update. It added that its investigation is “thoroughly examining” all aspects of police interaction with the 20-year-old prior to his death.

At a vigil organised by the group Stand Up to Racism last Saturday, a man speaking on behalf of Charles’ family urged those who had protested violently to stop, the Guardian reports.

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Stafford Scott said: “Don’t feel that the family don’t feel that anger and that frustration too.

But what the family knows is that taking it to the streets doesn’t give you justice.

The IPCC said it was awaiting a post-mortem report, and would provide an update on its investigation as soon as possible.

Read: Pictures: Violent protests in east London after 20-year-old dies after being chased by police

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Sean Murray

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