Campaign launched to unravel mystery into Fife man's death in police custody
A major campaign is being launched demanding justice for a Fife man who died in police custody.
Campaigners are holding a conference in Glasgow to coincide with the launch next weekend (25 July) calling for “decisive action” into the case of Sheku Bayoh, who died while being restrained by police in May.
Thirty one-year-old Bayoh, originally from Sierra Leone and a father of two, died in police custody on 3 May after having been restrained by police responding to calls from members of the public at his Kirkcaldy home.
The exact circumstances of his death are still unknown and his family want to know the truth.
He was reportedly on the ground in less than two minutes of police arriving on the scene with CS spray, pepper spray and batons used to restrain him.
Handcuffs, leg and ankle restraints were also applied as he lay face down.
It is claimed he lost consciousness in less than a minute after being restrained and pronounced dead just two hours later.
The inquiry into Bayou’s death by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner has been delayed for more than a month because the officers involved, supported by their professional body, initially refused to give statements. They have only recently agreed to do so because his family has fought to raise awareness and put pressure on them.
An organiser of the conference said: “The officers who detained Sheku Bayoh failed for some 32 days to provide essential information to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner.
“The failure created a real difficulty in pathologists determining the cause of death.
“Decisive action is now needed to restore confidence and satisfy the need for a robust and demonstrably independent investigation.”
As well as Bayoh family, the launch and conference will hear from the human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar, co-director of the charity Inquest Deborah Coles, the Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees and the Ethnic Minority Civic Congress as well as other families whose loved ones have died in police custody.