Stephen Lawrence was born in 1974; he was the first child of Doreen and Neville who emigrated from Jamaica in the 1960s. He had one brother Stuart and one sister Georgina. By the age of seven he had already resolved to become an architect. He lived at Plumstead, south-east London, which is a mixed community. Stephen had friends from different racial backgrounds. He didn't know what a racial incident was and he didn't see why the fact of being black may have endangered him. His family life was based on religious faith and education and he grew up with confidence in himself and others. In 1993 he was studying A-levels in English, craft, design and technology and physics at Blackheath Bluecoat School so as to become an architect and a local architect had already offered him a job. But Stephen was successful not only in the classroom. He loved athletics and once ran for Greenwich. Besides as a Cub, then Scout, he won an armful of badges for everything from cooking to sailing. And like others teenagers, Stephen liked going out, girls and music.
[...] Therefore the most important mistake that officers made in the inquiry, immediately after the murder, is that they didn't admit that Stephen was the victim of a racial murder. Professor Chris Mullard, chairman of Focus Consultancy, which has worked extensively with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), said the reluctance of officers to accept that Stephen's murder was racially motivated led to “lots of missed opportunities” in the investigation. Moreover the inquiry spent too much time and was not among the top- priorities of the police in London. [...]
[...] “With Stephen Lawrence the police assumed that he and his friend Duwayne Brooks must have been guilty of something and they were not treated as victims”. In the case of Anthony Walker the police said literally within hours that the attack was racially motivated. The one thing we must say about the difference is that the police have got much more sophisticated, more sensitive and more professional in handling racial murder. There had been significant progress to increase trust and confidence in policing amongst minority ethnic communities too. [...]
[...] THE STEPHEN LAWRENCE AFFAIR IS VERY IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT HAS CHANGED HOW THE POLICE HAVE TO CONSIDER A RACIAL INCIDENT AND THE WAY TO RUN AN INQUIRY IN THIS CASE. Positive relations between the police and minority racial groups are crucial if the police are to build safer, more stable communities. The 1999 report that followed the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry highlighted minority ethnic communities' lack of trust and confidence in the police force. The report made a range of recommendations to help improve relations between ethnic groups and the police. [...]
[...] Late on 22 April 1993 Stephen Lawrence and his friend Duwayne Brooks were making their way home after spending the day together. The boys were rushing to catch a bus in the south-east London suburb of Eltham. Stephen was already late and Stephen and Duwayne were confronted by a gang of white youths. The gang violently killed Stephen, he was stabbed to death. A stunned and helpless Duwayne briefly watched in paralysed silence, before he was chased off by one of the white youths. [...]
[...] THE REPORT OF THE STEPHEN LAWRENCE INQUIRY The aftermath of Stephen Lawrence's death saw a campaign that focused on seeking justice for his murder. This work continued until 1997 when the Home Secretary, Jack Straw set up public inquiry into the investigation after Stephen's murder. That finished resulting in the publication of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report on the 24 February of 1999-also knows as the Macpherson Report-with 70 recommendations: First all forces have now adopted the proposed definition of a racist incident, which is: racist incident is any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person”.This definition should be used by all agencies. [...]
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