Smiley Culture Protest March
Thousands marched through London April 16 to support the call for a public inquiry into the death of British reggae star Smiley Culture.
Protestors walked from Wandsworth Road to Scotland Yard via Parliament Square demanding “justice” for the 48-year-old, who allegedly stabbed himself during a police search of his home.
The ’80s star, whose real name is David Emmanuel, died after four Metropolitan Police officers arrived at his house with a search warrant.
An inquest into his death was told he had stabbed himself in the heart when he went to make a cup of tea, but his family is far from happy with the verdict.
“All we want to do is get to the bottom of what really happened, the truth. We’re not speculating, we just find it very hard to believe the police’s account so far of what’s happened,” Smiley’s nephew Merlin Emmanuel told Sky News.
Smiley Culture grew up south of Brixton, where the march in honour of him and 400 other people who have died in police custody started.
A meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority had to be adjourned a few weeks ago because of heckling from Smiley’s friends and family, who were sitting in the public gallery. Many walked out in protest.
Smiley, who had success in the 1980s with the singles “Police Officer” and “Cockney Translation,” was on bail at the time of his death for conspiracy to supply cocaine.
His family says they have commissioned an independent post-mortem examination to help determine the circumstances that led to his stabbing.