Sheku Bayoh’s family take concerns to Parliament

Sheku Bayoh's family at the Scottish Parliament with Claire Baker MSP
Sheku Bayoh's family at the Scottish Parliament with Claire Baker MSP

The family of Kirkcaldy man Sheku Bayoh, who died while in police custody, took their concerns to the Scottish Parliament yesterday (Thursday).

Accompanied by solicitor Aamer Anwar, Mr Bayoh’s partner Collette Bell and his three sisters, Kadi Johnson, Adama Jalloh and Kosna Bayoh, and brother-in-law Ade Johnson, talked to MSPs about their issues surrounding the investigation by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC).

Mr Bayoh, a father of two, died in Kirkcaldy’s Hayfield Road early on the morning of May 3, as he was being detained by police officers.

Since then there has been widespread speculation over the cause of his death and 22 weeks on the family says it still has not had many questions answered.

Yesterday’s meeting in Edinburgh, which involved politicians from all parties, was organised by Labour MSP Claire Baker who represents mid Scotland and Fife.

She said: “There are still many unanswered questions for Sheku’s family and it is important that the full facts surrounding the case are revealed.

“Yesterday’s meeting was an important step in that direction and I hope that MSPs from all parties will join me in seeking answers.

“It’s important as we move forward that we take a serious look at how any future death in custody is investigated. Whilst it is too late for Sheku’s family we must ensure that no other family has to experience such circumstances.”

The visit to the Parliament followed a meeting at the Lord Advocate’s office, where relatives watched the footage of Mr Bayoh’s final moments.

Speaking outside the Scottish Parliament, solicitor Aamer Anwar said: “Over the last four months the family have learned a great deal about the background of the police officers and what they did to Sheku Bayoh on the morning of May 3.

“This morning, at the Lord Advocate’s office, a heartbroken Bayoh family watched the last moments of Sheku’s life taken on CCTV and mobile phone.

“Whilst they agreed to viewing the CCTV on the basis of confidentiality, the family would now urge the Lord Advocate to publicly release the CCTV.”

A Crown Office spokesman said: “In order to protect the integrity of the investigation we cannot at this stage release the CCTV footage into the public domain.”