This afternoon solicitor Peter Watson and the Scottish Police Federation launched a personal attack on the Sheku Bayoh family solicitor Aamer Anwar
In a press release they accused him of directing “increasingly hyperbolic, inaccurate and bizarre rhetoric at the Scottish Police Federation”
Below is the response of the Bayoh family and their solicitor:-
Statement by the family of Sheku Bayoh, following personal attack from the Scottish Police Federation
“Our family are disgusted at what the Police Federation is saying by attacking our Lawyer, Aamer Anwar. It is a disgrace that their officers have not yet come forward to provide the facts to PIRC.
We would ask them to stay focused on the issue of how Sheku Bayoh died in the hands of the police rather than attacking our lawyer who represents the family and speaks as instructed by the family.”
Mr Adeyemi Johnson (brother-in-law), Mrs Kadijartu Johnson (sister) and Mrs Aminata Bayoh (mother).
Statement by Collette Bell- partner of Sheku and mother of their son
“We are disgusted at the personal attack on Mr Anwar who we have total faith in. Everything he says is coming directly from us and so we feel this is a personal attack on us.
I feel frustrated instead of Brian Docherty Scottish Police Federation wasting time slandering our lawyer he should concentrate on getting the nine officers who engaged with Sheik to give a true account of the circumstances surrounding his death as already directed by PIRC”
Statement by Solicitor, Aamer Anwar
“It is beyond bizarre that the Scottish Police Federation should choose to conduct themselves in this manner. My instructions come directly from the Bayoh family. The Federation can try to deflect from the issue all they wish, but four weeks after Sheku’s death, serious questions remain unanswered.
The family demand that those responsible for the detention and restraint of Sheku Bayoh speak to the PIRC. There is nothing unreasonable about this demand.
The Crown pathologists and independent pathologists – including the UK’s foremost forensic pathologist, Dr Nat Cary – have stated that they need to know the circumstances of detention, arrest and restraint to help them in determining the cause of death.
Yet, this week the body will be released without those details having been provided to PIRC – the cause of death being as of yet undetermined. This fact further compounds the agony of the Bayoh family.
The Federation may claim that officers have the same rights as members of the public, but they neglect to mention that Police also have powers of arrest and the right to carry weapons. Any use of force must be proportionate and reasonable and the public have a right to expect standards above the norm from police officers.
The rule of law applies to them as much as it does to everyone else in society.
Just imagine the outcry there would be if, following a death on a public street which involved several civilians, those individuals were not spoken to immediately and were allowed to walk the streets for several weeks thereafter.
The Scottish Police Federation should explain why it is so unreasonable for the family to expect the 9 police officers involved to provide operational statements to the PIRC investigators.
The Federation can personally attack me all they want but I refuse to defend myself, I have a job to do. It is however extremely sad that in the week of Sheku’s Bayoh’s funeral, his family should have to state publicly that they refuse to be bullied or silenced.