Sheku Bayoh's sister says her family still receives racist abuse

Sister of engineer who died after being restrained by police reveals their family still receive racist abuse as inquiry into his death resumes

  • Sheku Bayoh died in Scotland in 2015 while being restrained by police officers 
  • The inquiry into his death will resume for its second stage tomorrow morning 
  • Today campaigners gathered at a vigil in Edinburgh held for the father-of-two
  • His sister Kadi Johnson said her family still receives ‘racist abusive messages’ 

The sister of an engineer who died after being restrained by police has said her family still receive racist abuse the night before an inquiry into his death resumes.

Sheku Bayoh, 31, stopped breathing after he was brought to the ground and restrained with leg and handcuffs by six police officers responding to a call in Fife, Scotland in May 2015.

Today Mr Bayoh’s sister, Kadi Johnson, spoke at a vigil in Edinburgh where she revealed her family still racist, abusive messages and threats.

Speaking outside Capital House, where the inquiry will enter its second stage before Lord Bracadale tomorrow, she said that she believed Mr Bayoh would still be alive had he not come into contact with the police.

Father-of-two Sheku Bayoh (pictured) died while being restrained by six police officers in Fife, Scotland in 2015

Around 100 campaigners from Scottish trade unions and their lawyer Aamer Anwar stood in solidarity with the bereaved family.

Speaking to the crowd, Ms Johnson said: ‘Thank you very much for being here today, standing in solidarity with me and my family. I have been asked if Sheku had not come across the police will he be alive today? Well, I believe he would be.

‘I have asked the inquiry to please tell me how and why my brother had to die in the custody of the police, but seven years on we are still waiting for the answers, so far all we got were lies.

‘It has been a tough journey and along the way we have faced a lot of disappointment as well as racist abusive messages, even up to last night I had racist messages sent to me, but we welcome a meeting with Lord Bracadale yesterday and his condemnation of the racist abuse to our family and threats made to our lawyer.’

Today Sheku Bayoh’s sister spoke at a vigil in Edinburgh ahead of the inquest into his death continuing. Kadi Johnson (pictured left alongside her sister Kosna Bayoh) said that her family continues to receive ‘racist abusive messages’ 

The public inquiry is investigating the circumstances after Mr Bayoh’s death and whether racism played a factor.

Lord Bracadale told the inquiry he strongly condemns the racist abuse the Mr Bayoh family has experienced and said he ‘calls for it to cease’.

Lawyer, Mr Anwar, detailed Mr Bayoh’s injuries and the circumstances he was restrained under, as his sister was overcome with emotion and began crying.

Around 100 campaigners from trade unions across Scotland joined the vigil outside Capital House in Edinburgh ahead of the second stage of the inquiry that resumes tomorrow 

The family’s lawyer Aamer Anwar (middle) pictured with the sisters of Sheku Bayoh, Adama Jalloh (left), Kadi Johnson (middle) and Kosna Bayoh (right)

The vigil began shortly before 9am with a choir and chants of ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘From Minnesota to Kirkcaldy, Black Lives Matter’.

Mr Bayoh’s sister continued: ‘We are in for a long haul with the inquiry and your support gives me the strength and the courage to keep pressing on till justice prevails. Once again, thank you very much for your continual support.

‘Unity is power, justice for Sheku Bayoh.’

Mr Bayoh, a trainee gas engineer and father of two, was born in Sierra Leone and moved to the country when he was 12. After living in London for five years, he then moved to Scotland.

Mr Bayoh (pictured) was a trainee gas engineer who had moved to London when he was 12. When he was 17 he moved to Scotland

The inquiry has previously heard from the officers involved in the restraint of Mr Bayoh in Hayfield Road, as well as witnesses to the events on May 3, and others connected with the incident including control-room staff and other emergency service workers.

Tomorrow the inquiry will hear from Inspector James Young, ahead of further witnesses this week.

It will establish the facts of the immediate circumstances leading up to his death, how the police dealt with the aftermath, the following investigation, and whether race was a factor.

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