Sister of man who died in police custody in Fife calls for virtual George Floyd protests

The sister of a man who died in police custody in Scotland has urged those demanding justice for George Floyd to protest digitally due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Kadijartu Johnson, who is a nurse, issued a joint statement with lawyer and campaigner Aamer Anwar, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf and Labour MSP Anas Sarwar.

Her brother Sheku Bayoh died in 2015 aged 32 after being restrained by officers responding to a call in Kirkcaldy, Fife.

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His family believes race played a part in his death and a public inquiry was announced by Mr Yousaf in November last year, with which Police Scotland pledged to “engage fully”.

Sheku Bayoh died in 2015 aged 32 while in police custody.Sheku Bayoh died in 2015 aged 32 while in police custody.
Sheku Bayoh died in 2015 aged 32 while in police custody.

Mr Anwar has previously drawn comparisons to the case with that of Mr Floyd, who died in police custody after a white officer held him down by pressing a knee into his neck in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25.

His death has sparked protests across the US and recent rallies in the UK, including Edinburgh.

The joint statement highlights UK Government statistics showing BAME lives have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19.

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“We are united in our abhorrence at the scenes of racial injustice in the US and stand in complete solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement and those demanding justice for George Floyd,” it says.

“Like so many we want to stand in unity with millions across our planet to show solidarity with those protesting against racial injustice in the USA but also to support those challenging racial injustice and discrimination in Scotland.”

It adds progress on easing out of lockdown in Scotland is “fragile”.

“The rules in place are there to protect people’s health and ultimately people’s lives,” it says.

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“Therefore, as long-term anti-racist campaigners we are still urging people to protest but to use the many other methods available at this time, including digital protests.

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