Deaths in custody – no justice, no peace!

The death on 15 March of David Victor Emmanuel (better known as Smiley Culture) during a police drugs raid on his home sparked a new and angry mood of protest against deaths in custody and police racism. Smiley Culture’s 1980s hits ‘Police Officer’ and ‘Cockney Translation’ paved the way for a generation of British reggae, grime and hip-hop artists. On 16 April FRFI supporters joined 2,000 people marching from south London to Scotland Yard to demand a public inquiry into his death. Two weeks earlier, 1,000 people attended a public meeting in Lambeth Town Hall where David’s nephew Merlin Emmanuel condemned British ‘justice’, including the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC): ‘The IPCC has stated that one person a week has died in custody over the last decade. How is it not one police officer has been convicted for a death in custody?... Could it be the system has rendered the appeals of poor whites and poor blacks impotent? Could it be that the judicial system is there to oppress us and to protect the establishment?’

Nicki Jameson

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 221 June/July 2011


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