Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Family of Sheku Bayoh meet Lord Advocate

Relatives of Sheku Bayoh sit in front of a banner with slogans campaigning for justice, after a memorial service in Kirkcaldy, Fife.

The family of a man who died in police custody have met the Lord Advocate to discuss his death.

Sheku Bayoh, 31, died after being restrained by officers in Kirkcaldy, Fife, on 3 May 2015.

His partner Collette Bell, sisters Kadi Johnson, Adama Jalloh and Kosna Bayoh, and mother Aminata Bayoh met Frank Mulholland QC in Edinburgh.

They have said they fear Mr Bayoh's race may have played a part in his death.

The relatives spoke to reporters on Sunday after a memorial service which was held near the spot where he died in Kirkcaldy, Fife.

Mr Bayoh, originally from Sierra Leone, died in police custody after he was restrained by officers following an incident in the town on 3 May 2015.

His family have been campaigning for the truth about his death.

Image caption Relatives of Sheku Bayoh gathered for a memorial service near the spot where he died in Kirkcaldy, Fife
Image copyright Family handout

Mr Bayoh's death is being investigated by independent police watchdog PIRC.

Mr Mulholland was asked to update Holyrood on the investigation last September and told MSPs: "Having met the family on two occasions, I know the effect that this tragedy has had on them and they have borne their loss with great dignity.

"They are right to demand answers and a thorough, impartial and objective investigation is what they deserve."

He also confirmed that a fatal accident inquiry into the death will be held, regardless of any criminal proceedings.

'Happy boy'

Asked how worried she was that racism may have played a part in his death and the subsequent investigation, his sister Kadi Johnson said: "We are very worried. Because the way he was injured, I think racism had to play a big part in it."

Speaking about the memorial service, she said: "Sheku was a very happy boy. A very happy, outgoing boy. We want his legacy to linger on in a joyful way, because that is how he was."

Police have previously dismissed suggestions of racism surrounding the case.

In October 2015, the Lord Advocate urged all those with an interest in the death of Sheku Bayoh not to engage in "speculation and a running commentary".

The same month, Barry Swan, the brother-in-law of one of the principal police officers involved, claimed in a BBC interview that the officer "hates black people."

And in June 2015 both the Scottish Police Federation chairman Brian Docherty and a Scottish Police Federation lawyer hit out at criticism of the police from Aamer Anwar, the family's lawyer.

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