Why the Stephen Lawrence case is so important for today’s society.

Why the Stephen Lawrence case is so important for today’s society

20 years later and still the Lawrence family are faced with new revelations regarding the police enquiry into the racial murder of their son.  Stephen was 18 when he was killed in a racist attack in Eltham, South London in 1993.

It was back in 1998 when the Lawrence court case evidence indicated that the outcome (i.e. strong suspects being found not guilty), had been affected by racial issues both within the police force and within the Crown Prosecution Service. A public enquiry was then held into the Metropolitan Police Service and the investigation concluded that this force was indeed institutionally racist.

Recent news has brought to light that former police officer Peter Francis, who posed for four years as an anti-racism campaigner, was actually under instruction from senior officers to find “dirt” on the Lawrence family. Francis worked for the Special Demonstration Squad, one of two secretive Metropolitan Police units that infiltrated undercover officers amongst political groups. Francis told of the alleged “files” that were held on people classed as “mainstream politicians” including former Home Secretary Jack Straw, MPs Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn; and Imran Khan the lawyer for the Lawrence family. Human rights solicitors Bindmans also had its own dedicated file.

After her meeting on 27th June with Home Secretary Theresa May, Doreen Lawrence said that the family want a public enquiry into the police smear campaign against her family and supporters of the Lawrence case.

In January 2012 Gary Dobson and David Norris, previously found not guilty, were convicted for Stephen Lawrence’s murder. However the Lawrence family’s fight for justice continues since others who were involved in the racial attack are still walking free today.

The misrepresentations that the police force has portrayed within cases such as Stephen Lawrence leaves us with little trust in the force. How are we supposed to have faith in the system when such scandalous racially prejudiced revelations have surfaced?

So Why is the Stephen Lawrence case so important for today’s society?

The Stephen Lawrence case is a prominent example of the injustice of racial discrimination and the prejudice and distrust within the police force.  However I would say that the Stephen Lawrence case and the family’s campaign for justice represents every single one of us and the ongoing fight for racial equality. This campaign heads up a hope for unity within our communities and is significantly important to today’s society and the way we move forward towards a future hopefully without racial prejudice.

The bravery that Stephen’s family portrayed in their campaign is nothing but an inspiration to all. Not accepting defeat, staying strong and standing up for what they believe in.

Most of us know the story of Stephen Lawrence, whether you grew up before, after or during the time of his murder – at some point you would have heard his name and the tragedy of those events that took place all those years ago.

Stephen’s family have campaigned non-stop since 1993. In 1998 Stephen’s parents Doreen and Neville Lawrence set up a charitable trust (The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust) to help future generations of young people enjoy the opportunities that were denied to Stephen by his senseless murder.  The trust is committed to supporting young people from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds.

One of their most recent projects is a scheduled concert for Stephen Lawrence called “UNITY”, to be held at London’s O2 Arena on Sunday 29th September 2013. Some of music’s biggest names unite for this special concert championing youth and social empowerment. The concert will raise funds for the Charitable Trust.

As the enquiries into the Lawrence case continue, we hope for justice and racial equality.

Unite and Empower.

Written by Elisha Rickett

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