THE sister of a man who died after being restrained by police officers has said she received racist abuse the evening before an inquiry into his death resumes.

Sheku Bayoh died after he was restrained on the ground by six police officers in 2015 in Kirkcaldy, and the inquiry investigating the circumstances after his death and whether race was a factor is set to continue before Lord Bracadale in Edinburgh on Tuesday. 

Speaking to a vigil outside Capital House in Edinburgh, his sister Kadi Johnson said she believed Mr Bayoh would still be alive had he not come into contact with the police.

About 100 campaigners from trade unions across Scotland stood outside the building on Wednesday morning showing their solidarity with the Bayoh family, joined by the family’s lawyer, Aamer Anwar.

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Johnson said: “Thank you very much for being here today, standing in solidarity with me and my family. I have been asked if Sheku had not come across the police will he be alive today? Well, I believe he would be.

“I have asked the inquiry to please tell me how and why my brother had to die in the custody of the police, but seven years on we are still waiting for the answers, so far all we got were lies.

“It has been a tough journey and along the way we have faced a lot of disappointment as well as racist abusive messages, even up to last night I had racist messages sent to me, but we welcome a meeting with Lord Bracadale yesterday and his condemnation of the racist abuse to our family and threats made to our lawyer.

“We are in for a long haul with the inquiry and your support gives me the strength and the courage to keep pressing on till justice prevails. Once again, thank you very much for your continual support.

“Unity is power, justice for Sheku Bayoh.”

Lord Bracadale told the inquiry he strongly condemns the racist abuse the Bayoh family has experienced and said he “calls for it to cease”.

Mr Bayoh, a trainee gas engineer, was born in Sierra Leone and moved to the country when he was 12. 

He lived in London for five years before moving to Scotland. 

The inquiry has previously heard from officers involved in the restraint of Mr Bayoh in Hayfield Road, as well as witnesses to the events on May 3, and others connected with the incident including control room staff and other emergency service workers. 

On the day he died, police received reports a man had been wandering the streets of the Scottish town with a kitchen knife, where he was attacking passing vehicles and acting erratically.

The National: Adama Jalloh, sister of Sheku Bayoh, outside Capital House in EdinburghAdama Jalloh, sister of Sheku Bayoh, outside Capital House in Edinburgh (Image: PA)

By the time officers attended, Mr Bayoh no longer had the knife, and was not being aggressive towards the police, the inquiry previously heard.

But shortly after arriving at the scene, and after ignoring their commands to get down on the ground, incapacitant spray had been deployed and he was being held face down by officers for minutes before he fell unconscious and an ambulance called for him.

He was pronounced dead by medics shortly after at the town’s Victoria Hospital, and had suffered multiple injuries including head wounds and a broken rib.

DC Ashley Tomlinson and PC Craig Walker had previously told the inquiry Mr Bayoh had stamped on Nicole Short while she was on the ground after receiving a blow to the head.

But Kevin Nelson, who watched events unfold from his living room window, told Angela Grahame KC, senior counsel to the inquiry, he did not think Mr Bayoh could have carried out the attack in the way described.

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And a forensics expert who examined a vest worn by the then police constable said she found nothing “of relevance or anything that looked like footwear” on it.

The inquiry will hear from Inspector James Young, ahead of further witnesses this week, as it works to establish the facts of the immediate circumstances leading up to his death, how the police dealt with the aftermath, the following investigation, and whether race was a factor.

The £8.97 million inquiry has also seen video of the incident, as well as recordings of police radios and emergency service calls, and 3D modelling of the scene of how it would have looked in 2015.