Thursday, September 08, 2011

British cops raid man who then "stabs himself" to death

Big coverup apparent. Best guess is that the guy produced a knife when he felt threatened and that instead of restraining him, the cops stabbed him with it. He was only a black, after all

Police who carried out the raid on the home of Smiley Culture, in which the reggae star allegedly stabbed himself to death, are unlikely to face any charges.

Police claim Smiley Culture, real name David Emmanuel, stabbed himself in the heart while officers were searching his home for evidence of drugs trafficking.

In a confidential letter leaked to the Guardian, IPCC commissioner Mike Franklin told the singer's family no evidence was found to imply any police misconduct.

He said: 'The [IPCC] investigation has identified aspects of the operation which were not satisfactory, and criticisms have been made of some of the officer's actions.

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

Mr Emmanuel's family have bitterly criticised the Met Police officers involved in the incident, none of whom have been suspended.

They are also angry over the IPCC's decision to treat the officers as witnesses rather than suspects, meaning they cannot be forced to answer questions in a formal interview.

Mr Emmanuel's family was told that he stabbed himself while making a cup of tea, despite the presence of officers in his home.

They question why the four officers involved in the raid handcuffed Mr Emmanuel after his fatal injury and want to know why the officer in the kitchen at the time refused a direct request by the IPCC's lead investigator to give a formal interview.

Shanice McConnachie, Mr Emmanuel's 17-year-old daughter, told the Guardian: 'Their story just doesn't add up and until it does, I can't believe that my dad killed himself.'

The only action the officers can now face is if the Met initiates an 'unsatisfactory performance procedure', which can result in dismissal, but which the IPCC cannot direct.

The teenage daughter of reggae star Smiley Culture has told of her disbelief at the outcome of the IPCC investigation into the death of her father. Shanice McConnachie said her father was a 'calm and spiritual person' who would never have the kind of outburst police say led to his alleged suicide.

In an article written for the Guardian newspaper, the 17-year-old told how her father was excited about his life and always working towards the future. 'I can't imagine him decideing to throw his future away, whatever was happening to him at any one moment,' she said. 'Added to all that, he was scared of needles – he hated them – so the idea he would kill himself with a sharp knife seems insane.'

Ms McConnachie said her father's death has changed her deeply and left her with sleepless nights. 'Until I get to the bottom of it, I won't know what peace is,' she said.

Mr Emmanuel, who was 48, found fame as Smiley Culture with the Eighties hits Cockney Translation and Police Officer. His autobiographical 1984 hit Police Officer tells how he was caught in possession of cannabis but let off when the officer recognised him as a reggae artist.

Merlin Emmanuel, Smiley Culture's nephew, to whom the IPCC sent the letter outlining the outcome of its investigation, told the MailOnline he was disappointed but not surprised by the decision.

'If we look historically speaking about the other families [who have lost relatives in police custody] we didn't hold out much hope,' he said. 'We did think that in the particular unique circumstances in which Smiley died at least some officers would be found to have questions to answer.'

He was particularly stinging in his criticism of the IPCC, saying the police watchdog 'have no real authority to procure justice for the ordinary citizen.'

Since 1990 there have been a total of 940 deaths in police custody, according to the charity Inquest.

'At the end of the day, we would have expected some kind of justice because if they didn't go to his home that morning Smiley would still be here,' the younger Emmanuel said. He added: 'In cases like ours it seems that we just feel like we are up against a great Goliath and we are not equipped to handle them.'

Original report here

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