Baroness Lawrences frustration on lack of impact sons death left

In 1993, Doreen Lawrence’s son Stephen was killed in an unprovoked racist attack at 18 years old at a bus stop in southeast London.

Although there were five men who were accused of being involved in the murder, only two were ever convicted back in 2000, years after his tragic death.

Since then, his mother has become a campaigner for Justice for Stephen along with a change in society’s views.

With it being nearly three decades since Stephen’s death, Doreen spoke to BBC’s Reeta Chakrabarti about the three other suspects who weren’t arrested for her son’s murder.

When asked how it makes her feel knowing they’re still free, she said: “I don’t really think about them because if I do then your life is just at a standstill.

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“Times like this, yes I do think about them that it’s only two and the rest of them are free, but then that was down to how the investigation happened.

“If we, as a family, did not look to push and keep challenging, I don’t think those two that are in prison, I don’t think that we would ever have got there.

“It’s not something I felt at the time the police were interested in doing.”

The BBC presenter highlighted the Macpherson report back in 1999 which found racism to be a big factor in the failure of the police’s investigation into his death.

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In the report, it demanded a change within the police’s response to institutional racism along with the treatment of racist crimes.

Reeta questioned: “You didn’t think it would have happened without the pressure from you?”

Doreen confessed she doesn’t think there would’ve been a change without her family challenging the Metropolitan police force.

She commented: “I don’t know for me, it’s difficult to understand how the police work.

“I think when you look around within the black community how we are treated and how crimes are investigated, we’re never seen as a group of people that should have justice.

“So everything that we’ve had, you’ve had to fight for and continue to fight.

“And you know, I think for me, all the time I kept thinking I did nothing wrong, nor did Steven and that his death was something that, it shocked.

“It should shock society in a way that they wanted to make sure. But it didn’t. It didn’t shock them. And that’s why it took so long.”

To mark the 30th year of Stephen’s death there will be a community event in Woolwhich on Saturday 22 April.

BBC Breakfast continues weekdays on BBC One from 6am

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