A young Black man died after being brutalized by a London police officer early Saturday, causing widespread calls for justice across social media.
Metropolitan police pursued 20-year-old Rashan Charles into a convenience store in Hackney, East London after they failed to stop the car he was in on Kingsland Road at 1:45 am Saturday morning. Charles, who was only a passenger in the vehicle walked into the store and was immediately apprehended.
A security camera shows the officer arresting the man and taking him around a corner. Seconds later Charles jumps into view as he is slammed to the ground and straddled by the officer.
The graphic footage shows the officer struggling with the young man, putting him in a chokehold several times. Another man, who reportedly was a plainclothes police, knees the young man in the back and helps the officer handcuff Charles.
Almost immediately, the cop is seen shaking Charles, who appears lifeless.
Paramedics arrived on the scene and took the youth to Royal London Hospital where he died shortly afterward. The hospital has refused to state whether he stopped breathing before or after his arrival to the facility.
Voices across Twitter declared their outrage, demanding actions against the police officer, with #JusticeforRash trending.
"He didn't resist arrest when the policeman first got him he walked with him. So why did he slam him to the floor?" one person asked on Twitter.
“To all my Facebook friends and family, it is with great sadness I announce the death of 20-year-old Rashan Charles after being stopped by police in Hackney in the early hours of this morning,” a friend of the deceased said online.
“The family is so shocked and in disbelief because he only just left his grandmother's house to return home after a visit. Within a short while he was dead. The police complaint's authority is dealing with it. Please pray for his family.”
According to police reports, the man had attempted to “swallow an object” and promptly became ill, the officer states he intervened in order to prevent any self-harm. The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the incident.