Who was Smiley Culture?
David Victor Emmanuel (10 February 1963 – 15 March 2011), better known as Smiley Culture, was a British reggae singer and DJ known for his "fast chat" style. He was a pioneer of British rap, with two hits in the 80s called “Police Officer” and “Cockney Translation”.
Smiley died from a single stab wound to the heart while police executed a search warrant at his home in Surrey on 15 March 2011. The narrative told to his family by the police was that he had stabbed himself whilst making a cup of tea, despite the presence of officers in his home. What really happened in Smiley Cultures house that day will never truly be known. His family refuted the claims that he randomly reached for a knife and stabbed himself. It also doesn’t make sense that the officers decide to detain smiley in his kitchen when there are sharp objects during a raid. Putting someone in handcuffs is the normal protocol when raiding a house to avoid disposal of potential evidence. Furthermore the officers had a duty of care to keep him safe and they failed in that responsibility.
What was the legal implication?
An inquest was launched into the death of Smiley Culture. A verdict was reached, that he took his own life. They concluded that the tragic events of 15 March 2011 were unforeseeable and that giving one officer the responsibility of supervising Mr Emmanuel while the premises were searched was a contributing factor in his death.”
If you want to find out more about other victims of police and state violence in the UK, click here.
The proportion of BAME deaths in custody where restraint is a feature is over two times greater than it is in other deaths in custody. The proportion of BAME deaths in custody where use of force is a feature is over two times greater than it is in other deaths in custody. The proportion of BAME deaths in custody where mental health-related issues are a feature is nearly two times greater than it is in other deaths in custody.