'March for justice for my uncle Smiley Culture'

originally by: Socialist Worker
5th April 2011

David Emmanuel, also known as the reggae artist Smiley Culture, died of a stab wound to the heart during a police raid on his home on 15 March.

Smiley had hits in the 1980s with songs such as “Cockney Translation” and “Police Officer”—a song about being stopped and searched for cannabis possession.

The police claim he stabbed himself while in his kitchen. But many questions remain over how he died while police officers were in his home in Warlingham, Surrey. Smiley’s family have yet to receive an official statement on events from the police.

Smiley’s nephew Merlin Emmanuel told Socialist Worker, “We have been greeted by a degree of contempt. I feel that by now the police should have had something to say—at least to send their condolences to the Emmanuel family.”

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has started an investigation into the death. But Merlin has little faith in the system.

“Let’s put it in perspective,” he said. “In the last decade almost 400 people have died in police custody—that’s nearly one a week. But not one police officer has been brought to account or been charged with anything.

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