He is first shown saying: "Good Morning" and introducing himself, and drawing on the picture of Malcolm X and Dr. King, saying who they are and how they're dead.
He is seen throughout the film trying to sell a picture of Malcolm X and Dr. King to Mookie.
He tries to sell a picture of them to Sal outside through the pizzeria window, but Pino loses his temper, telling him to go away. Sweet Dick Willie is heard defending Smiley off-screen. Smiley insults Pino, who insults him back.
After the cops kill Radio Raheem and take him and Buggin' Out away, he is shown mourning over the death of Raheem and can be heard sobbing. When the people start arguing, he shouts: "One of the police was black!". When the riot starts and the people rush into the pizzeria and destroy everything, Smiley is seen smashing several things outside the entrance of the pizzeria. He is then shown lighting a match and burns down the pizzeria. People were not aware that Smiley was responsible of the burning down of the pizzeria. The people are happy about the pizzeria burning down, with Mother Sister seen yelling: "Burn it down Burn it down!" Fire fighters arrive to put the fire out, but people try to prevent them from putting it out. Smiley is last seen at the end of the scene inside the burning pizzeria, with the song "Fight the Power" playing, putting a picture of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. on the destroyed Wall of Fame and smiling.
The character of Smiley was not in the original script; he was created by Roger Guenveur Smith, who was pestering Spike Lee for a role in the film.