JUSTICE Secretary Humza Yousaf says he has not ruled out a public inquiry into the death in police custody of Fife man Sheku Bayoh.

He met with the family of Sheku yesterday, shortly after the Lord Advocate had confirmed that none of the nine police officers who had come into contact with Bayoh on the day he died would face prosecution.

The family said the law chief’s decision was a “betrayal of justice”.

Labour and the Greens have both called for a full inquiry.

Bayoh died after being restrained by police early in the morning of Sunday May 3, 2015.

The family say the dad-of-one suffered “cardio-respiratory arrest” and that he was “lying on the ground face downwards” while “officers with a combined weight in excess of 60 stones were kneeling or sitting on his upper back. This induced a serious and potentially life threatening degree of asphyxia.”

The Bayoh family’s solicitor Aamer Anwar said they would be seeking a review of the Crown’s decision, though admitted that Sheku’s relatives had little hope that this would be anything other than a “box ticking exercise.”

“Sheku’s family believe they have been failed by those who have a duty to protect the public and uphold the rule of law,” Anwar said.

“Did the Lord Advocate really think Sheku’s life was so cheap that his family would just walk away?”

The lawyer believes the police tried to cover up the circumstances of Bayoh’s death.

After the meeting a Crown Office spokesman said: “The Lord Advocate, Senior Crown Counsel and officials from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service [COPFS] have met with the family of Sheku Bayoh, and their legal representative, to inform them of the status of this case.

“This has been a complex investigation, and COPFS appreciates that it has been a difficult time for Mr Bayoh’s family and for all those involved.

“The Crown has conducted this investigation with professionalism, integrity and respect.

“It is committed to ensuring that the facts and circumstances surrounding the death of Sheku Bayoh are fully aired in an appropriate legal forum and, to that end, it has discussed possible next steps with a small number of colleagues in the justice system.”

Labour MSP Claire Baker, who has frequently raised the case in Holyrood, said: “It has been three years since Sheku Bayoh died while in police custody and his family are still having to fight for answers.”

She added: “It is difficult to have confidence in the Lord Advocate’s decision when the evidence on which it is based has been kept from the public.

“That is why it is right that there should be a full and transparent public inquiry into Sheku Bayoh’s death.”

Speaking after he met the family Yousaf said: “We are not ruling out the possibility of a public inquiry. That definitely remains an option, but it is a decision that we can take only once the process around criminal proceedings has been fully exhausted.

“Once this process has concluded I have committed that I will update the family and Parliament on any next steps.”