Thursday, March 17, 2011

Smiley Culture Update

The strange death of South London MC Smiley Culture (David Emmanuel) in a police raid continues to raise concern. Today more than 200 people attended a press conference at Karibu Education Centre in Brixton, with family and supporters. There's an excellent report by John Eden at Uncarved (John also has some great old music press stories from the 1980s). Seems it was something of a sad reunion for other former Saxon sound system MCs including Papa Levi, Asher Senator and Tippa Irie, gathered together to recall their fallen comrade.

I recommend watching this press conference all the way through, there's some incredible memories and contributions from friends, family and community activists.

The police story that Smiley Culture stabbed himself through the heart when he went to make a cup of tea while police were searching his house just sounds incredible. It is theoretically possible that a vulnerable person under stress might want to harm themselves - but even if that was the case here it would suggest a shocking failure by the police to exercise their duty of care. As someone said today 'what kind of madness is this that they're trying to tell the people?'.

There is going to be a follow up public meeting on March 24th, probably in Brixton but venue to be confirmed. This is a campaign that isn't going to go away until the family get answers.

Among the speakers from the floor today was the brother of Sean Rigg, who died in the back of a police van at Brixton Police Station in 2008. Here's a short film about him and his family's campaign for justice.

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