Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Smiley Culture: News International and the Met police

Smiley Culture: News International and the Met police [1.5217391304348]
Police outside the head quarters of News International

The phone hacking scandal and the very dubious relationships with the senior command of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)is providing a fascinating insight into the workings of the MPS. An example of how this works is demonstrated how the death in police custody of Smiley Culture aka David Emmanuel works. The first press commentary on this controversial death as reported by Wikileaks.

Martin Brunt was first to report. He is the crime reporter for Sky News .The following day the Sun’s crime reporter' Mike Sullivan revealed that Smiley “stabbed himself whilst he went to make a cup of tea”. The connection? Rupert Murdoch owns both.

How is it that these two reporters were able to report this matter? When, where, how and from whom did they get their information from?

In my view this was a blatant attempt at media management by I suspect MPS officers responsible for the investigation through its now obvious connections with News International. This is a clear example of the police using their connections to manipulate public opinion through the press.

Of course the death of Smiley Culture was always going to be controversial but the leaking of confidential information to the press profoundly upset the Emmanuel family who had no formal contact from the MPS. This left them gleaning what information they could from these press leaks from the MPS.

This is profoundly disturbing and aggravates the injury to feelings caused by the MPS lack of communication with the family. In the days following Smiley’s death no apology or formal explanation was received by the Emmanuel family from the MPS or the Metropolitan Police Authority. One would expect that when someone dies in custody one could at least expect a formal explanation and expressions of condolence and sympathy form the authorities. Such is the contempt to which the black community is now held that such a courtesy was deemed necessary.

This tale smacks of a deliberate attempt to spike mounting community concerns there were in relation to Smiley’s death.

The Black community was not fooled then and is not fooled now. Whatever the truth surrounding the death of Smiley Culture that his family should be subject to this level of contempt by the MPS is reprehensible. At a time when the family should received reassurance by the MPS on the circumstances surrounding Smiley’s death they were smearing him by trailing their unsubstantiated version of events through the media.

The MPS already has lost substantial trust with the black community. These issues in the light of the current scandal around phone hacking and police corruption alongside this new revelation will worsen that relationship. This matter should now form the basis of a complaint and be included in the those matters examined in the context of the public inquiry into these matters.

Lee Jasper

(First published at OBV