BBC documentary claims new evidence on death of Sheku Bayoh

Mobile phone footage of arrest of Sheku Bayoh -documentary, BBC Scotland
Mobile phone footage of arrest of Sheku Bayoh -documentary, BBC Scotland

The death of Sheku Bayoh while in police custody in Kirkcaldy three years ago is the subject of a new documentary on BBC Scotland tonight (Monday).

It claims to have new evidence on the controversy which has surrounded his death on a street in Templehall three years ago.

Kadi Johnson- Sheku Bayoh documentary, BBC Scotland

Kadi Johnson- Sheku Bayoh documentary, BBC Scotland

Disclosure: Dead in Police Custody says it will show evidence that the first officers on scene escalated the situation instead of trying to defuse it; broadcast CCTV footage which questions officers’ claims a female officer was kicked and stamped on by Mr Bayoh, and suggest that racism may have played a role in the events

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The documentary comes two months after Mr Bayoh’s family, which has campaigned to find out how he died, say were told by the Lord Advocate there was not enough evidence to prosecute any police officers.

The Crown Office has not confirmed that decision publicly, and insists the case remains active.

The death of Mr Bayoh has been shrouded in controversy for the past three years.

It has been the subject of a review by Police Independent Review Commission (PIRC) and been sent to the Crown Office for consideration.

But his family still have no answers over how he died.

They may ask the Scottish Government to review the Crown’s decision, and also want a full public inquiry.

Kadi Johnson, Mr Bayoh’s sister, said: “We are still here suffering, his boys are suffering.

“There was no need for Sheku to have died that day. We just want to know how our brother died, that’s all.”

The documentary has commentary from Eric Baskind, of Liverpool John Moore University, a leading authority on police restraint and use of force, who analysed the documents, which included the first statements given by the officers involved, and Deborah Coles, from the charity Inquest, which investigates deaths in custody, has been supporting the Bayoh family.

Claire Baker MSP, one of the first politicians to publicly back the family’s campaign immediately after his death in 2015, said the allegations in the Disclosure programme were “shocking.”

She added: “I recognise the police do a difficult job, but something went wrong, which raises questions about whether the police’s response was proportionate. I think there should be a public inquiry.”

>>Disclosure: Dead in Police Custody airs tonight on BBC One Scotland at 8.30 pm and will be available after on BBC iPlayer.