Press Statement issued on behalf of Sheku Bayoh’s family by their solicitor Aamer Anwar following their meeting with PIRC Commissioner Kate Frame on the 3rd September 2015.
The Bayoh family advised the Commissioner Kate Frame that their confidence in PIRC has been shattered. Despite an expanded remit, over seventeen weeks the PIRC gave an impression of uncertainty about precisely what was being investigated, for what purpose and by what means.
PIRC's identification of two pathologists who supported the controversial theory of Excited Delirium was the final straw. Fortunately the Lord Advocate and the Commissioner Kate Frame have made it clear that it is important that "Sheku's family have confidence in the objectivity of those experts instructed" and reassured them that the Crown will instruct further experts.
Today the family raised questions about the independence and the authority of PIRC; its extremely close relationship with Police Scotland, repeated failures to use its powers or to counter deliberate lies fed into the public domain by police sources.
The Bayohs spoke out because they believed PIRC's investigation was fatally flawed and more concerned about protecting the police from criticism, than holding them to account. The family had cited allegations of police malpractice which goes to the heart of this investigation, yet appeared to be ignored by the PIRC.
The Bayohs demand justice and impartiality, they took no comfort in their belief that PIRC is unfit, under-resourced and lacking powers to investigate the death in custody of Sheku. The family welcome the Scottish Government's national review of Police Scotland, but if it is to be more than a 'cosmetic exercise' then they cannot afford for PIRC to be seen publically as a toothless regulator which only serves to whitewash police wrongdoing. To this end the Bayohs respect the Commissioner’s willingness to meet with them in what was a very robust and difficult meeting to hear their concerns, but if confidence is to be restored they will expect her to deliver results rather than more broken promises.