Sheku Bayoh, who died in custody after being restrained by Police Scotland officers in a Kirkcaldy street, had taken a drug linked to rage, delirium and paranoia according to his death certificate.
Reports today say the 31-year old had traces of alpha-PVP, an illegal substance also known as ‘flakka’ in his body when he died.
The drug is said to have caused deaths and bizarre behaviour.
His death certificate also noted that Mr Bayoh had taken esctasy before he became involved in an altercation with police officers in a street near his home in Templehall last May.
It states his cause of death as “sudden death in a man intoxicated by Methylenedioxmethamphetamine (ecsatasy) and alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone whilst being restrained.’’
Peter Watson, a lawyer representing the Scottish Police Federation and seven of the officers under investigation in connection with Mr Bayoh’s death, described the development as “highly significant”.
He told a newspaper: “It reveals that Mr Bayoh had taken a psychoactive drug. It is a hyperstimulant, which leads to people going into a zombie-like state where they don’t respond to external communication, Significantly it is also connected with cardiac problems.”
Aamer Anwar, the solicitor representing Mr Bayoh’s family, said speculation about the document was “deeply unhelpful”.
A report by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner into the incident is still being considered by the Lord Advocate, James Wolffe.