Smiley Culture RIP: Day 17

Justice for Smiley Culture Campaign at City Hall – and Wembley Arena!

Furious scenes at the Metropolitan Police Authority meeting at City Hall today as David Emmanuel’s death was discussed.

The disruption to the meeting was covered by both the Guardian and the Evening Standard.

The Standard’s coverage was criticised by campaigners, not least because its reporting said that protesters were “thrown out” or “evicted” from the meeting. The Guardian and other accounts from attendees including Lee Jasper and Changita stated that protesters left of their own accord, in disgust, chanting “no justice, no peace”.

It is worth putting this ‘disruption’ in context.

The MPA meeting also discussed the case of Daniel Morgan, who was killed in 1987. Nobody has been convicted for this crime. Investigation of how the case was handled revealed police corruption. 24 years later, the family of Daniel Morgan are still seeking justice and have only just received an apology.

The Emmanuel family and its supporters do not wish to wait for 24 years for their questions to be answered.

According to Lee Jasper’s account (linked above) the Emmanuel family and it supporters were blanked by Kit Malthouse, chair of the MPA (Malthouse later suggested that he didn’t know family members were present and that he will now meet them).

Questions were asked by members of the panel in the meeting about the police briefings after David Emmanuel’s death. These questions were acknowledged, but they were not answered.

There is a video of the meeting available here. The relevant bit commences at 26 minutes in, and ceases at about 32 mins with a GLA testcard. When the meeting resumes, MPA member Cindy Butts is noticeably tearful whilst chanting outside the chamber is still audible. Footage of the meeting also appears in the BBC report here.

The argument put forward is that the police have got better. If you’ve read anything about deaths in police custody in the UK you will know that wouldn’t be difficult.

Rodigan wearing a Smiley Culture t-shirt at Wembley

Tonight also saw one of the largest reggae concerts for some time in London, with Nas and Damien Marley taking to the stage at Wembley Arena.

Support acts Spragga Benz and David Rodigan both payed tribute to Smiley Culture, with Roddy donning a Smiley Culture t-shirt and pointing to it whilst busting out Buju Banton’s “Murderer”.

Apparently the last tune played tonight by a DJ, as the audience left, was Smiley’s “Police Officer”.

Finally, a reminder that the campaign’s official facebook page is here and twitter feed is here.