The murder of Stephen Lawrence

‘The investigation was marred by a combination of professional incompetence, institutional racism and a failure of leadership by senior officers.’

Quote from the Macpherson Report

Eighteen year old Stephen Lawrence was killed in an unprovoked racist attack whilst waiting for a bus home with a friend (Duwayne Brooks) in Eltham, South East London. Witnesses state how he was attacked by a group of five white males who ran over towards Lawrence and Brooks shouting racist comments. Stephen was stabbed and left in a fatal position. The first officers to arrive at the crime scene did not administer first aid to Stephen Lawrence. Those officers also behaved insensitively and racially stereotyping Stephen due to his ethnicity. Both Lawrence and Brooks were not treated as victims of an attack. The Family Liaison officers who were in contact with the parents of Stephen Lawrence were unprofessional and insensitive. Suspects had been arrested but could not be maintained as evidence was inappropriately handled. During further investigation the family was kept in the dark about the cases progression. Due to the pressure from the family and the anti-racist institutions an inquiry was initiated in 1999 by Mr Macpherson. Only in 2012 two of the original suspects were convicted for the murder.

© Büro zur Umsetzung von Gleichbehandlung e.V. 2011