Protesters chant ‘black lives matter’ as Sheku Bayoh inquiry gets under way
Campaigners gathered outside as family members, witnesses and Police Scotland officers attended the opening day of the inquiry into the death of Sheku Bayoh.
Mr Bayoh died in May 2015 after he was restrained by officers responding to a call in Kirkcaldy, Fife.
Kadi Johnson, his sister, thanked protesters for “joining us this morning in solidarity as we start this public inquiry”.
“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. So we are so grateful and thank you so much for your support,” she said.
“As you all know we are here for the long haul in this inquiry and we will need your support more than ever. Thank you so much for standing with us. Justice for Sheku Bayoh.”
Mr Bayoh’s sisters: Kadi Johnson, Adama Jalloh and Kosna Bayoh, and his mother, Aminata Bayoh, walked into Capital House in Edinburgh, where the inquiry is being held, as the crowd chanted “black lives matter” and “justice for Sheku”.
Some were holding pictures of the gas engineer, while others were holding banners urging people to stand up to racism and calling for justice. Another said: “Not one rogue cop, the system is rotten.”
Addressing the crowd moments before they entered the inquiry, Aamer Anwar, the family solicitor, said: “Black lives matter in Scotland, not just the United States.
“People marched last year and the year before over black lives matter, well, Sheku Bayoh died in 2015,” he said.
“Seven years seven days later, the family know they will not get justice but they want the truth and from that they hope they can build another campaign to finally get justice.
Iain Livingstone, the chief constable of Police Scotland, walked past gathered protesters to enter the centre.
He said the inquiry will allow the facts to be established, and added it must now be allowed to get on with its work.
The best videos delivered daily
Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox