Smiley Culture inquest

An inquest into the death of reggae star Smiley Culture during a police raid is in its second day today. The 48-year-old singer died from a single stab wound to the heart while police executed a search warrant at his home in Surrey in 2011.

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  1. Ronke Phillips

Singer plunged knife into own chest

The coroner tells the jury that the singer suddenly started screaming at officers and then plunged a knife into his own chest.

The inquest jury is hearing from the first doctor on the scene who says the singer was already dead by the time he arrived.

The doctor tells the jury that the victim was lying on his back on the floor of the kitchen with the knife still in his chest.


IPCC found no police misconduct

Reggae star Smiley culture, in 1989 Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The 48-year-old reggae singer, real name David Emmanuel, died from a single stab wound to the heart while police searched his home in Warlingham, Surrey on March 15 2011.

His family was told that he stabbed himself while making a cup of tea in the presence of officers at the property.

Protesters outside Scotland Yard in April 2011 Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/Press Association Images

In the wake of Mr Emmanuel's death, hundreds of protesters marched through central London to New Scotland Yard to call for a public inquiry.

But the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found that no misconduct had taken place despite describing aspects of the operation as unsatisfactory.

In a letter to the singer's nephew, Merlin Emmanuel, Mike Franklin, IPCC commissioner, said:

"On this occasion the investigation has identified aspects of the operation which were not satisfactory, and criticism has been made of some of the officers' actions.

"However, these do not meet the threshold for misconduct under the police misconduct system."

Smiley Culture found fame with a string of 1980s hits including Cockney Translation and appeared on Top of the Pops.

His 1984 hit single Police Officer was an autobiographical song of how he was caught in possession of cannabis but let off when the officer recognised him as a reggae artist.

The full inquest is due to take place at Woking Borough Council office.

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