April 21, 2009 in Blog
In February 1999 Sir William Macpherson reported to the then Home Secretary, Jack Straw, on the inquiry he led into matters arising from the murder of Stephen Lawrence almost six years earlier. The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry report, as Macpherson preferred us to call it, was widely seen as a watershed in race relations in Britain.
That was mainly because government, the media and the chattering classes had not been listening to the evidence and to the shrill demands of generations of black people regarding police abuse of their powers, the racism in British policing that was systemic and not just the aberrations of the few ‘rotten apples’ that, so we are told, are to be found in every police force as in other institutions in society; racism that led to preconceived ideas about black witnesses and to the deeply flawed operational decisions that flowed from them. Read the rest of this entry →