Date: 3 May 2015
Place: Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland
Sheku Bayoh died after being arrested by the police in the street near his house whilst under the influence of drugs on the morning of Sunday 3 May 2015.
The police had responded to calls that he was in the street on drugs and behaving erratically with a knife and when they arrived at about 7.20am in a police van multiple police officers jumped out and started to subdue him. Two of the police officers said that they thought that they were responding to a terrorist incident.
It was said that he had fought back and had kicked two policewomen on the ground in the back, however, video footage of the arrest gave no evidence to support that. It was heard that batons, CS spray, leg restraints and handcuffs had been used to subdue him and that he was on the ground within 30 seconds of them arriving.
It was also noted that witnesses said that they saw the police kneeling and lying on in order to restrain him.
Five minutes later it was noticed that he was unconscious, and an ambulance was called for. Five minutes later the ambulance had not arrived and he was found to be not breathing and he was pronounced dead at 9.04am.
He was found to have been under the influence of the drugs MDMA and Flakka and to have been unarmed.
MDMA and Flakka (alpha-PVP) were said to be components of the Zombie drug which was known to cause rage, delirium and paranoia.
His post mortem revealed petechial haemorrhages in his eyes indicating possible asphyxia.
Sheku Bayoh suffered 23 separate injuries during his arrest including injuries over his body, face and head and a deep gash across his forehead.
It was claimed that if the police had approached him in a calm way that he might not have struggled in the way they said he did.
His post mortem concluded that he had died after taking the drug MDMA, while being restrained (Sudden death in a man intoxicated by Methylenedioxmethamphetamine (ecsatasy) and alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone whilst being restrained). However, his family said that they thought he died from being asphyxiated.
In November 2019 the Crown Office said that after considering the evidence that they were not going to charge anyone.
In May 2020 it was reported that the remit of a public enquiry into his death had been announced.
In January 2021 it was reported that two of the police officers involved in restraining him might have provided false statements.
Sheku Bayoh was a trainee gas engineer originally from Sierra Leone and had two children.