Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Police Scotland is racist, claims Sheku Bayoh's sister

Kadi and Ade Johnson Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kadi Johnson, pictured with her husband Ade, believes race played a part in her brother's death

The sister of Sheku Bayoh has said she believes that Police Scotland is institutionally racist.

Kadi Johnson was speaking after it was announced that a public inquiry will be held into her brother's death.

Mr Bayoh, 31, died after being restrained by police officers in Kirkcaldy, Fife, in May 2015.

Police Scotland said it would "engage fully" with the inquiry and was committed to providing a service based on "integrity, fairness and respect".

Lord Advocate James Wolffe confirmed on Monday that no officers would be prosecuted in relation to the death.

On Tuesday, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said a public inquiry would be held, and that it would examine whether race played a part in Mr Bayoh's death.

Image copyright Bayoh family

Speaking on BBC Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme on Wednesday, Ms Johnson said: "We believe race played its part in the way my brother died.

"The way they treated him, us as a family, all of that proved that race was involved in his death."

And she added: "Yes, I think there is institutional racism in the police force."

Ms Johnson said it had been "devastating" to learn that no-one would be charged over Mr Bayoh's death, but said the family was "very grateful" that the public inquiry would go ahead.

"We're hoping we will have all the answers and hopefully someone will be punished for their actions," she said.

Image caption Sheku Bayoh died in 2015 after being restrained by police in Kirkcaldy

Ms Johnson also said there had been times that she and her family had thought about giving up on their battle to seek justice for her brother.

But she said lawyers and friends had encouraged them to keep going.

"We want this inquiry to be meaningful to us as a family and Scottish society," she added.

"We want changes to happen. I want my brother's name to be remembered as something good, not in the way it has been tarnished over the past four years."

Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said: "Our thoughts remain with Sheku Bayoh's family and friends following his death and we continue to offer support to anyone affected by this tragic incident.

"We will engage fully with the public inquiry.

"Police Scotland is committed to providing a policing service to all of our fellow citizens based on our core values of integrity, fairness and respect."

Mr Bayoh's family said CCTV and phone footage cast doubt on claims made by officers about events leading up to his death.

On the day he died, Mr Bayoh had been at a friend's house watching a boxing match.

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Media captionThe BBC Disclosure programme features previously unseen footage

He had taken the drugs MDMA and Flakka, which dramatically altered his behaviour and he became aggressive.

He later left home with a knife from his kitchen, and neighbours called the police. He had discarded the knife by the time police arrived.

CS spray and police batons were used to restrain him, and handcuffs and leg restraints were applied.

An ambulance was called after he lost consciousness, but he was pronounced dead in hospital.

A post-mortem examination found a series of injuries over his body, face and head, including a deep gash across his forehead.