SNP politicians intervene over Sheku Bayoh death in police custody investigation


Pressure mounts on Chief Constable Steven House

TWO SNP parliamentarians have requested a meeting with Justice Secretary Michael Matheson to discuss the ongoing investigation into the death of Sheku Bayoh in police custody.

MSP for Kirkcaldy David Torrance and MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath Roger Mullin asked for the meeting in order to discuss the handling of the Sheku Bayoh case and wider concerns around Police Scotland.

Sheku Bayoh died on 3 May 2015 after being restrained by police officers on a Kirkcaldy street. The incident is being investigated by the police investigations and review commissioner.

The request for a meeting comes after Mullin’s attempt to contact Chief Constable Stephen House over the treatment of Bayoh family. Mullin had sent House a letter requesting that the Buyoh family meet together with Mullin and House. Mullin received a reply three weeks later from a deputy constable turning down the proposed meeting on the grounds that it would interfere with the investigation.

Quoted in The National , Mullin said: “I find it unacceptable that Police Scotland have taken so long to respond to an urgent request from me for a meeting regarding their dealings with the Sheku Bayoh family.

“I think the fact they sent a letter of so-called explanation that suggests they have an inability to read the short letter I sent them in the first place is not encouraging. And it adds to the sense of this is being very badly managed by the police,” he added.

House and Police Scotland have come under increasing pressure following a series of high profile controversies including widespread use of stop and search powers , allegations that a secretive unit within Police Scotland has been spying on journalists and the failure of the police to respond to a car accident that killed two for three days.

Picture courtesy of Sheku Bayoh family