The family of a reggae artist who died during a police raid made an impassioned plea for justice yesterday.

Relatives, friends and concerned members of the community turned out to support David Emmanuel’s family suring a swiftly-organised press conference.

Mr Emmanuel - known as Smiley Culture - died during a police raid on his home in Warlingham on Tuesday morning.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched an investigation after the 48-year-old died of a single stab wound to the heart.

The popular reggae artist’s nephew, Merlin Emmanuel, spoke with pride and dignity about the family’s loss and wish for justice.

He said:” Smiley was a British icon, not a black icon, he was bigger than just us.

“He was British and he was a worldwide celebrity.”

Fellow musician Tippa Irie was clearly shaken at the loss of his good friend and spoke about his grief on hearing the news, while Mr Emmanuel’s grief-stricken daughter thanked everyone for their support at this difficult time.

The event, which was chaired by race equality and social justice campaigner Lee Jasper, was held at Karibu Education Centre in Brixton at noon yesterday.

Mr Jasper said: “It was an sbsolutely huge turnout of the local community, and a huge expression of anger and concern.

“It was also a very dignified call from the family to act with respect and support their attempts to get to the bottom of what happened.”