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Rashan Charles: ‘Upsetting’ CCTV footage shown at inquest

INQUEST: Rashan Charles' family have described him as "caring and generous"

‘UPSETTING’ CCTV footage has been shown at the inquest into the death of Rashan Charles, which began today at St Pancras coroner's court today.

Charles, a 20-year-old black man, died following restraint by Metropolitan Police officers in Hackney, east London in the early hours of Saturday July 22 2017.

The CCTV footage of the restraint was widely circulated, which meant the circumstances of Charles’ death attracted significant public attention and concern.

When it was aired during the inquest today, one family member broke down and left the court. The footage was slowed down and magnified to give jurors a clearer view of the events prior to Charles’ death.

The coroner, Mary Hassell, said the footage “gives a very good view of what was going on”.

Charles was a father to a young daughter and has been described as caring and generous by his family.

In November, the officers involved were granted anonymity for the proceedings. The names of officers will therefore not be revealed, and their faces will not be visible to the press or those in the public gallery.

A large black curtain has been erected in the court to protect the identity of the witnesses and police officers.

The officer who initially restrained Charles will be referred to as BX47, and another officer involved as BX48. Anonymity was also given to two witnesses.

Charles’ death came just weeks after 25-year-old Edson da Costa who died following restraint by police officers in Newham, east London.

Edson and Charles are two of five deaths of young black men involving restraint in England in 2017.

Speaking before today’s proceedings began, Deborah Coles, director of INQUEST said: “The images of Rashan Charles’ restraint were deeply disturbing, and his death has rightly sparked significant family and community concern. This inquest must robustly explore all the circumstances leading to the use of force and whether the restraint was lawful and proportionate. There are legitimate concerns about over policing and the disproportionate number of deaths following the use of restraint against young black men.”

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