I AM Sheku Bayoh’s elder sister and have lived in Scotland for many years. When I first moved here from London to further my education I felt welcomed and quickly settled in, called it home and became a staff nurse.

Because of the joy, love and freedom I experienced in Scotland I told my little brother at the age of 17 to join me. I thought it would be a safer place for a young black man to grow up than London was.

Little did I know his life would be cut short at the age of 31. When Sheku moved to Scotland he had no problems settling in and quickly made good friends who until this day fight on his behalf for justice.

Sheku studied and worked hard and was blessed with two beautiful boys, who today have been robbed of a fathers’s love. Sheku was a fun-loving man who had everything to live for.

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Do I feel that race and racism play a part in my brothers death and the aftermath? Yes.

My reasons? When the police got the information about my brother’s behaviour on that morning they knew it was not normal and they knew his race before they went out to meet him. They were told not to engage but instead they attacked my brother. They did not find him with a knife, they did not de-escalate the situation as they do every weekend with young white men high on drugs or alcohol.

The question we should ask is: would he still be alive had it not been for the police? But as in George Floyd’s case it’s always the black man to blame for his own death.

My brother was restrained face down, handcuffed and leg restraints applied, officers on top of him pressing down on him like George Floyd. He said “get off me, I can’t breathe” but was ignored. Why do police officers always think a black man dying is faking it?

THE officers that came to my house to inform us about his death had from 7am until 3pm to get their story or facts. Instead they lied to us about his death because they thought we were Africans who had no idea of how the system works, not knowing that I have lived here for many years, was educated and worked as a nurse in the same hospital they brought my brother’s body to. My husband, a professional, had actually trained the police on race equality and trusted in them.

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When they couldn’t lie any more they then began to smear my brother’s character, blaming my brother for his own death which is what happens when a black man dies in their custody.

The attitude of the so-called independent investigators of Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) was shocking. Our first contact with a member of PIRC was when they came to our house on the night of Sheku’s death.

They talked down at us rather than support us. They told us they wanted to do the post-mortem the next day. We told them no, as we must wait for our mum to travel up from London and see him first. They went ahead with the post-mortem without our consent, even trying to ship his body abroad – again, that was a “mix-up”.

One officer’s own family approached us and complained about his racism and violence. Until then we hadn’t dare raise suspicion of racism. Even our lawyer Aamer Anwar warned us 24 hours after Sheku’s death not to do so without clear evidence. I do not believe any black men would be given the opportunity of 32 days before giving a statement after being involved in a suspicious death.

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All nine officers spent all day in the same room following my brothers death. We watched the drip feeding of material to the media to smear and justify Sheku’s death, turning him into a crazed zombie who would have killed had it not been for the “white knights”.

When we challenged the present Lord Advocate’s decision not to prosecute we felt we were patronised. I believe if George Floyd’s video had not gone viral within minutes of his brutal murder, then his family would have gone through the same humiliating experience we did. Sheku died in the same way as George Floyd except my brother got more of a beating with up to nine officers restraining him.

The whole system needs to be changed, from the Lord Advocate’s office down to the front line police officers. I’m tired of being told of respect for our dignity when we have been given nothing but disrespect and betrayal by the Lord Advocate.

I don’t feel safe anymore in Scotland. I feel nervous and worried for my children. I fear for the safety of my nieces and nephews. Why should I have to feel this way? These children were born in Scotland. This is all they know, why should we not have the same privilege to enjoy Scotland as any white person?