On the night of Stephen Lawrence’s murder, his friend Duwayne Brooks, who had been with him during the attack, was taken to Plumstead police station.
He was mistreated there and made to feel like a suspect.
Several detectives at Plumstead were identified as being part of the “institutional racism” of the Met police highlighted in the Macpherson report into the police investigation.
At the trial Duwayne gave evidence despite the fact that his father died the previous night. Duwayne refused the opportunity to halt his testimony, telling the court, “I want to say what happened.”
He described how a gang of white attackers set upon himself and Stephen. The attack came after the gang had hurled racist abuse at them.
Duwayne cried as he looked at a picture of the scene and described his best friend’s dying words to him.
He said, “He said one more time ‘Duwayne’ and his voice was funny and he fell at that tree.”
They had known each other since they were 11 years old.