The family of dancehall-reggae pioneer Smiley Culture are demanding a full and open inquiry into the circumstances surrounding his death.
After the police raided his home in connection to a drugs bust, Smiley Culture allegedly stabbed himself in the heart with a kitchen knife.
Since the end of his music career, Smiley Culture (aka David Emmanuel) had become involved in the African diamond industry and had links to some unsavoury forces in countries such as Azerbaijan. But the police’s story of his death is bizarre, claiming that Emmanuel asked to make a cup of tea before the police took him away and, while alone in the kitchen, stabbed himself to death.
Quite why the police would allow a suspect to wander off unescorted during a raid on his home, or why Emmanuel would not, if he was suicidal, choose an easier method than stabbing himself with a kitchen knife, are not clear.
A campaign has been set up to demand an inquiry; it organised a meeting of more than 1,000 people in Brixton, where Mike Franklin of the Independent Police Complaints Commission was heckled.
The campaign has a Facebook page: “Campaign for Justice for Smiley Culture.”