The remit of the inquiry into the death of Kirkcaldy man Sheku Bayoh has been announced, which will determine whether his race played a part in his passing.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, a set-up date and premises where the inquiry will take place are still to be decided.
The circumstances leading to Mr Bayoh’s death will be investigated by retired High Court judge Lord Bracadale.
Fife father-of-two Mr Bayoh was 32 when he died in 2015 after being restrained by police.
The public inquiry will also investigate the post-incident management process and subsequent investigation into his death, according to the Scottish Government.
Lord Bracadale will look at the following:
- Whether Mr Bayoh’s actual or perceived race played a part in his death
- The events and circumstances leading up to his death
- The post-incident management process
- The subsequent investigation into Mr Bayoh’s death
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “When I announced in November that a public inquiry was to be held, I said then that it is imperative that the circumstances leading up to Mr Bayoh’s death and the events that followed are examined in full and in public. I am pleased that today brings us a further step closer to that.
“I met with key parties, including the family of Mr Bayoh, to discuss the approach to the terms of reference.
“While they do not feature all of the issues raised with me during my discussion, the terms of reference do focus on the incident and are sufficiently broad enough to allow the chair to look at wider issues he may consider relevant to the inquiry.”
Lord Bracadale said: “I welcome the announcement of the terms of reference of the public inquiry.
“I believe that they will enable my inquiry to conduct a thorough examination of the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Bayoh and the wider issues arising.
“I understand the impact which the Covid-19 pandemic has inevitably had on preparation for the inquiry and look forward to being able to make progress in due course.”
Tragic loss of life
Scottish Greens Justice spokesperson John Finnie MSP said: “I welcome the comprehensive terms of reference that have been published.
“From the representations made to me it’s clear the areas of greatest concern surrounding this tragic loss of life relate to whether the actions of the officers involved were affected by Mr Bayoh’s race, the post-incident management process and the investigation itself.
“I believe the terms of reference allow for these issues, and other legitimate concerns to be thoroughly examined and I’ve every confidence that’s what Lord Bracadale will do.”
Family seeks justice
Mr Bayoh’s family met with Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone at the end of 2019
It followed a decision by the Lord Advocate not to proceed with a criminal investigation against the officers who restrained him prior to his death.
His family has launched a civil action against Mr Livingstone.