HomeEuropeStephen Lawrence 30 Years On: A Murder That Changed a Nation's Conscience

Stephen Lawrence 30 Years On: A Murder That Changed a Nation’s Conscience

  • IN BRIEF: On the 30th anniversary of Stephen Lawrence’s death, a private memorial service will be held to honour the 18-year-old who was murdered in an unprovoked racist attack in south-east London. The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation, set up by Baroness Lawrence in 2020, will announce a series of initiatives, including scholarships, research programmes, and pilot career schemes aimed at helping marginalised young people. The foundation will also emphasise the relevance and importance of Stephen’s story and its impact on society today.

Stephen Lawrence was fatally stabbed by a gang of white youths as he waited at a bus stop in Eltham on 22 April 1993. Two of his five suspected killers were eventually jailed, nearly 20 years after the murder.

The 1999 Macpherson Report, which investigated the investigation into Stephen’s death, found “institutional racism” within the Metropolitan Police and made 70 recommendations, including many aimed at improving police attitudes to racism. Despite the report, Baroness Lawrence has recently accused the force of failing to change in the 30 years since her son’s murder.

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, expressed sympathy for the Lawrence family and apologised for the force’s past failings. He acknowledged that the Lawrence family’s “dignified fight for justice, conducted in the pressure of the public eye with unwavering determination over so many years, continues to be a source of inspiration for us and so many.”

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said that he continues to be inspired by Baroness Lawrence and the family’s decades-long campaign for justice and a fairer society in the wake of Stephen’s murder.

The foundation’s initiatives reflect the continued significance of Stephen’s story, which has catalysed change and awareness around institutional racism in the UK. As Baroness Lawrence notes, there is still much work to be done, particularly in supporting marginalised young people. The foundation’s efforts aim to continue Stephen’s legacy by creating a brighter future for generations to come.

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