If Sheku Bayoh’s family think they are going to get to the truth of what happened on that Sunday morning in 2015, they are mistaken.

An eye-wateringly expensive public inquiry will tell us little more than what we know already.

Sheku never regained consciousness after being restrained by officers in a Kirkcaldy street.

The 31-year-old dad, who had taken the drugs MDMA and Flakka, was found to have suffered 23 injuries.

This inquiry is nothing more than a show and the Bayoh family are being used as pawns in a well-rehearsed game – for the police officers who were there that morning have already been told by the Crown that they will not face prosecution.

The legal establishment will claim that means they will be free to tell the truth as to what happened that morning so lessons can be learned.

But how many more times do we have to hear that phrase trotted out by politicians? Lessons could be learned far faster if the answers came under oath.

Remember Harry Clarke?

 

The bin lorry driver granted immunity from prosecution after a crash in Glasgow that killed six people hardly said anything at the inquiry into the tragedy.

And the prison officers who were told they wouldn’t face prosecution after the death of inmate Alan Marshall in HMP Edinburgh? The sheriff decided they had lied under oath.

Police officers, like doctors, nurses and prison officers, are doing tough jobs, sometimes under the most difficult of circumstances and making quick decisions that could have difficult consequences. But they need to be held accountable.

And if it was so unpalatable to put the officers in a witness box to answer some tough questions, the Lord Advocate had the option to consider a corporate charge against the force.

Sheku's family members and their legal team were at the Scottish Parliament to hear the public inquiry being announced by Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf
 

That too was ruled out.

Earlier this year, Devon and Cornwall police were fined £234,500 over the death of Thomas Orchard, a church caretaker with mental health problems who died after a heavy belt was placed across his face while officers were restraining him.

The force was criticised by Orchard’s family, the sentencing judge and campaigners, who believe it is a landmark case.

Four police officers – a sergeant and three constables – and two civilian detention officers who were involved in Thomas’s restraint will now face misconduct proceedings.

Exactly what should be happening in this case.

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