New documentary on Sheku Bayoh case sparks fresh call for public inquiry

Aamer Anwar
Aamer Anwar

The Scottish government has said it is still considering a public inquiry into the death of Kirkcaldy man Sheku Bayoh in police custody in 2015 following a new BBC documentary about the case.

BBC Scotland broadcast CCTV footage of Mr Bayoh’s arrest for the first time last night in the Disclosure: Dead in Police Custody programme, which is available on BBC iPlayer.

Both the CCTV footage and mobile phone footage from a witness appear to contradict key elements of police accounts and documents of the incident.

Solicitor Aamer Anwar, representing Mr Bayoh’s family, told the BBC that racism was “the elephant in the room” in the case.

He said: “It always has been. It was the stories, it was the pictures, it was the stereotypical images of a large, black male crazed, acting erratically. It was all those things, the word ‘terrorist’ being bandied about.

“Sheku Bayoh’s family believes that race is central to this. The black community believes that race is central to this.”

Claire Baker, Labour MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said the allegations made in the BBC programme are “shocking”, and added: “I think there should be a public inquiry.”