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DETECTIVES investigating the death of Sheku Bayoh “forced” a “vulnerable” family to leave their home without consent, an inquiry heard today.
Mr Bayoh, 31, died after being restrained by police in Kirkcaldy, Fife, on the morning of May 3 2015, having taken class A drugs hours before with friends.
The Sheku Bayoh inquiry is investigating the circumstances of his death, how police dealt with the aftermath, the subsequent investigation, and whether race was a factor.
Officers went to the home of Mr Bayoh’s friend Zahid Saeed and spoke to his sister, Saadia Rashid, who was caring for her elderly mother and paraplegic brother, as well as two young children, including a baby who was being breastfed.
Ms Rashid told the inquiry she repeatedly insisted police obtain a warrant but was told “they didn’t need one,” and the family had to leave the house so it could be searched.
She said a plain-clothes officer “forced himself into the house” after intimidating her and the family were “forced” to leave and felt like “criminals with no rights.”
Ms Rashid said they felt “vulnerable and victimised,” and were so rushed she forgot a breast pump and medication.
Giving evidence, Detective Constable Gordon Miller, 54, said there was no point in him asking consent due to the family’s obvious unhappiness, and officers anticipated a complaint would be lodged.
The detective said he followed a “lawful order” from the senior investigating officer “to protect the forensic integrity of it, so if there was drugs within the property it couldn’t be disposed of.”
However, he admitted the family should have been given more explanation and told of their rights and conceded there wasn’t “authority” to “force” a family to leave.
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