Sheku Bayoh inquiry shown 3D image of scene where police restrained him

A 3D image of the scene where Sheku Bayoh was restrained by police has been shown at a long-awaited inquiry into his death while in custody.

The reconstruction was presented along with visual and audio recordings taken from CCTV, witnesses’ phones and emergency calls in a public hearing led by the retired appeal court judge Lord Bracadale.

Bayoh died after being restrained by officers who were responding to calls from members of the public of a man brandishing a large knife.

Two police vans, three marked police cars and one unmarked car, and at least nine uniformed police officers attended the scene in Kirkcaldy, Fife, on 3 May 2015.

After no charges were brought against any of the officers involved, the Scottish government announced the inquiry into the case five years after Bayoh’s death.

The 31-year-old’s family believe race played a part in his death, but the facts have yet to be fully established.

The inquiry was first shown dashcam footage taken at 7.09am from a car that captured Bayoh walking through Kirkcaldy on the day he died. Alongside this, an audio recording of the 999 call made by the driver was played, in which he could be heard reporting seeing “a 6ft black guy … around Hayfield Road”.

Several other emergency calls from witnesses about a sighting of a man with a knife were played, with one saying: “There’s a black man walking along … He has a knife in his hand … He’s walking towards the hospital.”

A call at 7.20am from a police control room confirmed that officers were approaching the location of Bayoh, with CCTV footage capturing police vehicles arriving at the scene seconds later.

Another call between the control room and a former officer, Alan Paton, who attended the scene, was played alongside the footage, with Paton heard asking the description of the man upon approach.

An officer was recorded replying: “He’s been described as a male, black, well-built, 6ft tall, wearing a white T-shirt, dark-coloured jeans and carrying a very large knife.”

Seconds later, Paton could be heard shouting over the radio: “Officer injured, PC Short.”

Further shouting ensued before an officer at the scene reported back to the control room at about 7.21am.

“One officer has been punched in the back of the head, no obvious serious injuries,” he was heard saying. “Male securely on the ground.”

An officer in the control room asked for an update at 7.22am, again repeating the request a minute later, prompting an officer at the scene to reply: “The male is on the ground at the moment. We’ve got several officers who’ve taken a big restrain.

“We’ll get back to you. However, we’re going to need more control … generally fine.”

Footage lasting just seconds taken from a witness’s Snapchat post showed Bayoh on the ground being restrained by officers.

An audio recording was played of another officer at the scene reporting: “PC Short has been struck to the head … no bleeding, no visible injury.”

Another officer replied: “Yes, just continue to stay safe and keep full control. Use all restrains necessary. Control, can you get an ambulance for PC Short?”

At just after 7.25am, attending officers noticed that Bayoh was unresponsive, with one reporting: “The male appears to be unconscious, breathing, not responsive. Get an ambulance for him.”

The inquiry saw an ambulance arrive at 7.34am through a reconstructed 3D image using CCTV footage from the nearby pub Gallagher’s and a radio-call recording.

Bayoh, a father of two, moved to Scotland from Sierra Leone as a young teenager to live with his sister. He was training to be a gas engineer, and had no previous history of violence.

The inquiry continues.

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