Sheku Bayoh: Protesters chant ‘black lives matter’ as inquiry into ‘Scotland’s George Floyd’ opens


Protesters in Edinburgh have chanted “black lives matter” as an inquiry into a man who died while in police custody began.

Sheku Bayoh has been called “Scotland’s George Floyd” by his family, who were at Capital House on Tuesday for the opening day of the probe into his death.

The 31-year-old trainee gas engineer died seven years ago while being held by officers responding to a call in Kirkcaldy in Fife.

The public inquiry is now set to look at the circumstances leading up to his death, what happened afterwards and the subsequent investigation. It will also look to establish the role the father-of-two’s race may have played in his death.

Protesters flocked to Capital House on Tuesday as the inquiry got underway.

Some were holding pictures of Bayoh while others were holding banners urging people to stand up to racism and calling for justice. Another read: “Not one rogue cop, the system is rotten.”

Kadi Johnson, his sister, thanked protesters for joining the family in solidarity on the opening day of the inquiry.

Sheku’s mother Aminata Bayoh wipes her eyes ahead of the start of a public inquiry into the death of her son (Andrew Milligan/PA)

(PA Wire)

“On behalf of my mother, and the rest of us, we are so grateful for your support. You have never left us for seven years, you have always been with us,” she said.

The crowd chanted “black lives matter” and “justice for Sheku” as the family walked into Capital House.

No charges have been brought because of his death.

Iain Livingstone, Chief Constable of Police Scotland, arrives at Capital House in Edinburgh ahead of the start of the public inquiry (Andrew Milligan/PA)

(PA Wire)

Mr Anwar, the family lawyer, told a press conference on Tuesday Bayoh had been brought to the ground within 50 seconds of police officers arriving at the scene in May 2015.

“He was handcuffed and retrained with leg and ankle cuffs, and would never get up again, losing consciousness and dying,” he said.

“As Kadi said when they put her brother’s lifeless body in the ambulance, he was still shackled like a slave, with over 24 separate injuries, cuts, lacerations, bruises and a broken rib.

“Within minutes, the process of criminalising, smearing and stereotyping began to enforce an image of a mad and dangerous black man, wielding a knife and with stereotypical characteristics of extraordinary strength in an attempt to blame Sheku for his own death, but he was unarmed and never deserved to die.”

The family lawyer also said it had become clear to the family over the years that the police, its watchdog and the Crown Office had “operated an unholy trinity of dishonesty, racism and incompetence”.

Iain Livingstone, the chief constable of Police Scotland, walked past gathered protesters to enter the centre.

He said the inquiry would allow the facts to be established, and added it must now be allowed to get on with its work.

Additional reporting by Press Association


Source link

Leave a Comment