No Charges Over Smiley Culture Death
Police have been criticised for the drug raid that led to the death of reggae star Smiley Culture but a police watchdog report says no officers involved should face criminal charges.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission condemned the raid as being heavy-handed and instructed London police to alter the way they plan and carry out future drug seizures.
The police watchdog said Nov. 29 the execution of the raid was botched but there was no evidence to justify legal proceedings against any of the four officers who took part.
Smiley Culture died from stab wounds in a drug raid on his London home March 15.
The Metropolitan Police Service claims the 48-year-old singer and DJ, real name David Emmanuel, died after stabbing himself through the heart.
The IPCC produced a summary of its final report on Smiley’s death after the coroner asked that the full report not be made public or shared with Emmanuel’s family.
“The investigation has found no evidence that a criminal offence may have been committed,” IPCC commissioner Mike Franklin said. “The investigation also found there were no individual failings which, for the purposes of the Police [Conduct] Regulations 2008, amounted to misconduct.”
However, the IPCC investigation did raise concerns about several areas of the raid such as operational planning and risk management.
A separate report detailing the learning identified by the IPCC investigation is being sent to MPS so that they can consider its recommendations and respond to the IPCC with actions where required.
Members of Emmanuel’s family reportedly reacted to the report with “anger, resentment and resilience” and say the IPCC has treated them with “contempt.”
They say they still want to know why he was handcuffed after his fatal injury, even though an independent pathologist’s report said the stab wound would have caused his death within a few minutes.
They’re also unhappy about the IPCC’s procedures when investigating the incident as none of the officers involved was suspended.
They were also treated as witnesses and not suspects, meaning that they were never formally interviewed.
“We firmly believe Smiley was murdered and that the IPCC has let us down and treated us miserably,” said Merlin Emmanuel, the singer’s nephew.
The family is preparing to launch a private prosecution against the officers involved in the tragedy.