Scotland is a racist country, the sister of Sheku Bayoh has said.

In an interview with the BBC, Kadi Johnson spoke of her guilt in encouraging her brother to relocate from London. She also said she would not encourage young black men to make the same move. 

Mr Bayoh, 31, died after being restrained by officers in Kirkcaldy, Fife, in 2015.

The family believes race played a part in his death, and say they have yet to hear the truth.

Police were called in the early hours of 3 May 2015 after Mr Bayoh was spotted behaving erratically on the streets of his home town.

He was restrained on the ground for five minutes before falling unconscious. He was pronounced dead at hospital a short time later.

A public inquiry, which started taking hearings last week, was first announced in late 2019 and is considering issues including the circumstances of the death, the post-incident management and the extent to which events leading up to and following Mr Bayoh's death were affected by his actual or perceived race.

Inquiry chairman Lord Bracadale has said he is "fully committed" to getting to the truth of Mr Bayoh's death.

It was set up after then the Lord Advocate declined to charge Police Scotland or the officers involved in the death. 

Asked if she thinks Scotland is a racist country, Ms Johnson replied: “I'm afraid I'd say yes, because of the way we have been treated. 

“When my brother died, instead of the police coming to me telling me exactly how my brother died, it's just the lies they told me from the start. So there was no trust in them. I don't trust them anymore. 

“How can you come to somebody to break sad news like that and yet you don't know. You know the very first question they'll ask you is how did my loved one die? But then you're saying you don't know and you're carrying on telling me so much lies.” 

Mr Bayoh, came to the UK from Sierra Leone as a child, was training to be a gas engineer at the time of his death.

Asked if she would recommend Scotland as a place for young black men to settle, Ms Johnson said: “For now, no. Scotland was a place I loved and I encouraged him to come up because I thought he'd have a better life living here. 

“This will live with me for the rest of my life. Why did I even encourage him to come to Scotland? And now he's no more.”

The family’s solicitor Aamer Anwar told the show that while there was a “significant minority” of Scots who have “become anti-racist”, there was a significant majority that is “silent on the issue of racism.” 

“And then there is also a significant minority that are racist,” he added. “And it seems to be that when you scratch the surface, you see racism.”

He said the family's seven-year battle for the investigation into Mr Bayoh’s death “wouldn't have happened if Sheku had been white.” 

Mr Anwar said: “If you look at the system, the justice system, not just the police, but the justice system. The family accused both the [Police Investigations and Review Commissioner for Scotland] which is the independent investigators, the police and then the crown office, of operating an unholy trinity of prejudice, of incompetence and racism. 

“And that's over a course of seven years. And when you consider that you see the government, the police the health service, the various institutions, public institutions in this country saying, no, we want to be anti racist, we want equality, we want diversity. 

“Well have a look at the picture. It's all very well, for those who are saying racism has been defeated. Have a look at the picture. 

“I stood on the steps of the High Courts some 20 odd years ago, after the murder of  Surjit Singh Chhokar, in a racist murder that took 17 years to get justice. And I said, how many black judges, how many black senior prosecutors, how many black senior police officers, how many black senior executives in public bodies? And the answer still today is pretty much zero. 

“So it hasn't changed that much in reality for the black or Asian or minority ethnic community.”

Ms Johnson told the programme that the change needed to come “from the grassroots, which is the schools.” 

She said: “Start from the schools and work your way up, because it's happening there. It's happening in the schools. Black and ethnic minority children are experiencing that. And it goes up towards the adults. So if it starts from there, and hopefully changes will happen.”

Last year, Show Racism the Red Card, revealed that there had been more than 2,000 incidents of racism reported in Scotland's schools over the past three years.