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By Lee Jasper

Friday, March 18, 2011.

The death in police custody of Smiley Culture after the police raided his home a few days ago leaves Surrey Police with a lot of questions to answer as far as I am concerned.

There are reliable witness statements that confirm that Smiley was alive when the police arrived and after allowing others in the house to leave the property the police version of events is that Smiley stabbed himself.

Surely Smiley was handcuffed as in normal practice during any raid to prevent the suspect disposing of evidence, harming police officers or himself, but how is it that he managed to stab himself whilst in handcuffs?

Secondly, how did he get hold of a knife when surrounded by police officers? He would have been closely monitored and guarded by police officers and an officer would have supervised his every move.

Thirdly. if we accept he did stab himself - and I have severe doubts about that - how is it that he was surrounded by police officers and yet, they could not prevent him from killing himself?

Finally, once he was injured, why could they not apply first aid and call for immediate medical assistance to save his life? What time did they arrive at the property and what time was the ambulance actually called?

This death in police custody of Smiley Culture raises lots of critical questions and I would be advising both Surrey Police and the Independents Police Complaints Commission that they need to come up with answers and do so quickly, so as to avoid a serious increase in police community tensions.

Lee Jasper is a leading community activist and organiser. He blogs at http://leejasper.com


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