Scottish Police Federation release statement attacking family's lawyer Aamer Anwar
POLICE OFFICERS present when a father of two died in police custody are set to be interviewed - a month after the incident took place.
Sheku Bayoh, 31, was detained in Kirkcaldy, Fife, on 3 May and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC), which is examining the circumstances of his death in custody a short time later, has now confirmed it will question police officers.
The SPF has said that officers were responding to a call of a man brandishing a knife. The family claim that they have been told five different versions of what happened.
The police's handling of the situation has been criticised. Mr Bayoh's family have questioned why no officers have been suspended while the inquiry takes places and the family's solicitor Aamer Anwar has also said that the officers should have spoken to PIRC immediately after the death.
The row between Mr Bayoh's family and the police has escalated in recent days after the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) released a statement accusing Anwar of directing "increasingly, hyperbolic, inaccurate and bizarre rhetoric at the Scottish Police Federation".
In response, a statement on behalf of Mr Bayoh's family said they were "disgusted at what the Police Federation is saying by attacking our lawyer, Aamer Anwar."
It continued: "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."
Meanwhile, Anwar said that the SPF's behaviour has been "beyond bizarre".
"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," he said.
"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."
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