On 22nd April 1993, an 18-year-old black British teenager named Stephen Lawrence was murdered in an unprovoked racist attack in London whilst waiting for a bus.
Who was Stephen Lawrence?
Stephen Lawrence was born and grew up in southeast London. He lived with his parents, Neville and Doreen, and his younger siblings, Stuart and Georgina.
Like many other young people, Stephen attended school and had a part-time job whilst juggling spending time with his family and friends. He had dreams of becoming an architect.
On 22nd April 1993, when Stephen was just 18 years old, he was murdered whilst waiting at a bus stop in an unprovoked racist attack by a group of white youth.
What happened next?
After the initial police investigation, 5 suspects were arrested but not convicted.
In 1998, 5 years after Stephen’s death, a public inquiry into the handling of Stephen’s case was held. This led to the publication of the Macpherson Report, which found that the investigation into Stephen’s murder was tainted with a “combination of professional incompetence, institutional racism and a failure of leadership”.
The report led to significant cultural changes in attitudes toward racism, the law and the police.
Many years later on 8 May 2011, it was announced that two of the original suspects, Gary Dobson and David Norris, were to stand trial for the murder in the light of new evidence. On 3 January 2012, Dobson and Norris were found guilty of Stephen Lawrence’s murder.
What is Stephen Lawrence Day?
In 2018, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that a national day of commemoration will take place every year on 22 April for Stephen Lawrence. This was announced at the memorial service marking the 25th anniversary of Stephen’s death.
The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation wants young people to be inspired about what they can achieve in their lives. They encourage you to get involved in creating the kind of community you’d want to live in and to use your voice to build a fairer and more inclusive society. Check out their website for inspiration about what you can get involved in.
If you’re interested in finding out more about this case, there’s lots of information online. If you’re not sure where to start, you could watch this YouTube video about the case by Eleanor Neale.
In 2021, ITV released a 3 part series called Stephen about this case. You can watch that here.
If you’re affected by anything mentioned within this blog and would like to talk it out, you can talk to Meic. Meic is the national information, advice, and advocacy helpline for 11-25’s in Wales. You can contact a Meic advisor by phone (080880 23456), text (84001), or online chat between 8AM – Midnight every day.