Hundreds march for Sheku Bayoh

Hundreds of people marched through Kirkcaldy on Sunday 6 September to demand justice for Sheku Bayoh.

Sheku Bayoh died on Sunday 3 May 2015, shortly after losing consciousness while being restrained by police on a Kirkcaldy street His family are demanding the truth and justice from Police Scotland and accountability from those who were involved in his death.

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) is investigating Sheku's death. Chief Constable Stephen House recently announced his intention of stepping down at the end of November.

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Justice for Sheku Bayoh, outside Kirkcaldy Town House
Justice for Sheku Bayoh, outside Kirkcaldy Town House
Julia Davidson

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Ade Johnson and Aamer Anwar
Ade Johnson (Sheku's brother-in-law) and lawyer Aamer Anwar
Julia Davidson

"The family's confidence in PIRC has been shattered," lawyer Aamer Anwar told the crowd.

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Stuart Graham speaking in Kirkcaldy
Stuart Graham with Sheku Bayoh's family speaking in Kirkcaldy
Julia Davidson

Sheku's family were joined by David Bryant, the uncle of Genrothes man Allan Bryant Jr, who disappeared in 2013, and by Stuart Graham, the stepfather of Fife man Colin Marr, who died following a stab wound eight years ago.

"We have had eight years of this, now we have a chance to help the family to get the truth," said Stuart Graham.

The march passed through Kirkcaldy town centre, chanting "Police Scotland, shame on you" and "Stephen House, shame on you", and stopped for a minute's silence outside Kirkcaldy police station. It finished at Gallagher's pub, near the place where Sheku was knocked to the ground by police 18 weeks earlier. More speeches were held there.

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Collette Bell
Collette Bell, Sheku's partner, speaking at the end of the march for justice for Sheku
Julia Davidson

One of the speakers was Kadija George, a London-based literary activist and Sheku's cousin. In July she wrote:

"Of course a community needs to heal after such incidents but healing and forgetting are not 'two sides of the same coin'."

Over 10,000 people have supported Kadija's online petition calling for justice for Sheku Bayoh. The petition is still open for signatures.

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Richard Haley
SACC Chair Richard Haley, speaking at the end of the march for justice for Sheku Bayoh
Julia Davidson

SACC Chair Richard Haley said:

"Sheku's family were lied to by the police, police conduct since then has been manipulative and obstructive, and the PIRC has failed to overcome these obstacles and carry out its investigation in a way in which anyone can have any confidence."

He added:

"Chief Constable Stephen House says he's leaving because it's time for new challenges. I'm sure that one of those challenges is to put the death of Sheku Bayoh as far behind him as he can. PIRC needs to speed up a bit and ask Stpehen House some hard questions before he makes his getaway."

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Margaret Woods
Margaret Woods, speaking at the end of the march for justice for Sheku Bayoh
Julia Davidson

Margaret Woods, from Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees, said:

"There should be criminal proceedings against the police officers who detained Sheku Bayoh."

She told the crowd that a criminal trial was the only way the public could have confidence that justice was being done.