Sheku Bayoh officer ‘hates black people’ says family

The family of Sheku Bayoh with the family's solicitor, Aamer Anwar. Picture:'' Neil Hanna
The family of Sheku Bayoh with the family's solicitor, Aamer Anwar. Picture:'' Neil Hanna
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A POLICE officer involved in the detention of a black man who died in police custody has a history of violence and racism, family members have alleged.

Testimony from the family of PC Alan Paton, one of the officers on the scene when Sheku Bayoh was arrested and restrained in Kirkcaldy in May, has claimed that PC Paton had attacked his own parents and admitted to hating black people, according to the BBC.

Mr Bayoh, 31, had nearly 30 injuries to his head, chest, lower legs and arms, a post mortem found.

Barry Swan, 43, PC Paton’s brother in law, said the officer had violently assaulted his own parents Ann and John Paton in 2005. He told the 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.

“A frail old man who’d basically been put through something he should never have been put through, he was literally black down one side. You knew instantly it wasn’t one hit, he’d been kicked, he’d been stamped on. He’d had a major kicking.”

It is understood officers were called to the scene but PC Paton’s parents decided not to press charges as they believed the matter would be dealt with internally.

Mr Swan also claimed that PC Paton had admitted to being racist after Mr Bayoh’s death.

He said: “He out and out admitted that he was a racist, that he hates them, as he puts it, all the blacks. It’s not right he’s a police officer.”

Mr Bayoh’s death is being investigated by the police watchdog, the Police Investigation and Review Commissioner (Pirc) after his family and partner Collette Bell demanded answers over police conduct in the incident. Ms Bell, the mother of his eight-month-old son Isaac, said: “They’re supposed to be trained in restraint. They should have the knowledge and ability to deal with those people appropriately without having to beat them to a pulp.

“There are ways and means to restrain somebody without killing them.”

It is understood that Pirc is aware of the recent allegations and have stated that all information gathered throughout the investigation will be submitted to the Lord Advocate for his consideration.

A spokeswoman said: “The commissioner fully empathises with the deceased’s family and has reassured them that she and her team of investigators are objectively exploring all relevant lines of inquiry.

“Any appropriate further action arising from the findings of our investigation, including the consideration of criminal proceedings, will be a matter for the lord advocate to decide upon.”

Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Kate Thomson said: “It would be inappropriate to comment as there is an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Sheku Bayoh’s death which is being carried out by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner and they have submitted an interim report.”