Officers refused immunity for inquiry into death in custody

Sheku Bayoh
Sheku Bayoh

source: The Guardian
published: 28 March 2022

Scotland’s police force and its prosecution authority have refused to give 12 police officers immunity from criminal charges in an inquiry into the death in custody of Sheku Bayoh.

Police Scotland’s deputy chief constable, Fiona Taylor, has told the judge chairing a public inquiry into Bayoh’s death in Kirkcaldy in May 2015 that officers are under a legal and professional duty to tell the truth, regardless of the risks of self-incrimination.

Lord Bracadale, the inquiry chair, had urged Police Scotland and the Crown Office to provide undertakings officers would not be prosecuted for any evidence they gave his inquiry, to ensure they gave “full, frank and uninhibited” testimony.

The officers involved, some of whom have since left the police, have consistently denied any wrongdoing and have not been prosecuted or disciplined over any aspect of Bayoh’s arrest.

In a letter to Bracadale released on Monday, Taylor said it would undermine public confidence and threaten the force’s commitment to root out racist or discriminatory views if any such undertaking were given.

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