Reggae star stabbing death inquest opens in UK

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Reggae star Smiley Culture. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

LONDON— A British coroner has opened an inquest into the 2011 death of reggae star Smiley Culture, who was fatally stabbed in the heart during a police raid on his home.

Police say the London-born musician stabbed himself with a kitchen knife as four officers searched his house in March 2011 in connection with a drugs investigation.

Coroner Richard Travers told an inquest jury Wednesday that police would testify that the 48-year-old musician was initially relaxed but “changed completely” and became angry and violent during the visit.

His family has called that account of events “bizarre.”

Inquests are held in Britain to establish the facts about violent or unexplained deaths.

Culture — whose real name was David Emmanuel — gained fame with 1980s hits including “Cockney Translation” and “Police Officer.”

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