Was race at the heart of mans custody death
from various sources – February 2016
submitted by – Falak Bibi
Any news updates on this case will be listed at the foot of this item
Sheku Bayoh, an ordinary family man, was left dead by police who are meant to be “protecting us” said supporters. On 3 May the 31 year old gas engineer had been restrained, handcuffed and batons were used on him after police had been called following reports of a man having a knife and behaving unusually. Eye witnesses also claimed that officers were kneeling or lying on Sheku despite having handcuffed him to the ground.
An ambulance was called when Sheku stopped breathing and became unconscious. An officer had carried out CPR, however at 09:04 Sheku was pronounced dead at Victoria Hospital.
Questions of racism were raised after it was revealed that one of the arresting officers, PC Paton, had a history of violence, and had attacked his own parents in 2005. It is claimed that his mother, Ann Paton, 61 was left unconscious and father, John Paton, 65 sustained bruising.
The following statements were given by brother-in-law Barry Swan, 43. “He admitted that he was racist, that he hates them, as he puts it – all the blacks. It’s not right he’s a police officer.”
Sheku’s partner, Collette Bell, also stated “If somebody could beat up their own mum and dad why are they then left with the badge, why are they still allowed to patrol the streets? If they are that violent that they would hit out at their parents, what hope does any normal citizen have to go up against him?”
PC Patons brother in law Barry Swan, 43, had witnessed the attack and told BBC “what kind of person can actually do that to their own parents? Alan is a big boy, he towered over his mum and dad”. His own family have been attacked and despite police being aware of his past behaviour they still allowed him to perform his role as an officer, to be out on the streets.
What has been illustrated is PC Paton was clearly racist, but still leaves the question of how Sheku was killed. According to a report conducted by The Daily Record a post mortem examination showed serious injuries over Sheku’s body including up to 20 facial injuries and tiny blood spots in his eyes and a deep wound across his forehead. Clearly something more serious must have occurred.
A report conducted by a pathologist revealed positional asphyxia was the cause of death. Positional asphyxia causes many deaths in police custody. This reveals he was suffocated to death due to the position in which he was restrained over a prolonged period.
Family lawyer Aamer Anwar stated “I think the public have a right to expect that those who engage in violence and those who engage in racism should not be able to walk our streets as police officers. They must be held to account.”
The case will be investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), the body that oversees police complaints in England and Wales.
Sheku’s partner, Collette, further stated “they’re supposed to be trained in restraint. They should have the knowledge and ability to deal with people appropriately without having to beat them to a pulp or killing them”. Collette is left alone to raise their eight month old son Isaac and fight for Sheku’s justice.
A Facebook page was set up in order to create awareness of what happened to Sheku: Justice For Sheku Ahmed Tejan Bayoh.
The situation had clearly been twisted and attempts were made to criminalise Sheku according to solicitor, Mr Anwar. “He wasn’t 6ft plus, he was 5ft 10in. He wasn’t super-sized; he was 12 stone 10 pounds.
“He wasn’t brandishing a knife at a police officer. He didn’t stab a police officer. In fact he wasn’t carrying a knife when the police officers attended. He didn’t attempt to stab anyone, and he wasn’t found with a knife on him. Those are the actual facts.”
Watchdog concludes report into custody death
10 August 2016