Hundreds Protest Reggae Singer’s Death

Protesters marching in London Saturday called for an investigation into the death of one-time reggae star Smiley Culture during a police raid on his home.

About 600 people joined the march to New Scotland Yard, Channel 4 News reported. Police described the demonstration, which featured reggae music and chants of No Justice, No Peace” as “noisy but peaceful.”

Smiley Culture was the stage name of David Victor Emmanuel, 48, who was born in London in 1963 to a couple who had immigrated from the Caribbean. He became a hit in the 1980s as a disc jockey and recording artist, although his celebrity did not outlast the decade.

Police said he stabbed himself in the heart while making tea during a search March 15 of his home in the suburbs south of London. He was arrested on a drug charge last year.

Merlin Emmanuel, the singer’s nephew, told Channel 4 the police version does not make sense. He said it “beggars belief” someone would be allowed to go alone into the kitchen during a raid.

“What I do know beyond reasonable doubt is that Smiley would still be alive had they not gone and executed that warrant at his house,” Emmanuel said. “I have my ideas as to what happened but of course its speculative ’cause I wasn’t there.”

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