A few days after detective sergeant John Davidson was questioned in the Macpherson inquiry in 1998, Doreen Lawrence made a statement.
It said, “I have been saying all along that the police are out there to protect the boys who murdered my son and not to ensuring that they locked them up.”
Stephen Lawrence’s murderers saw themselves as untouchable, and they were. They were the sons of major criminals who were part of a conspiracy with the police.
When Stephen was murdered the police didn’t think twice about trying to sweep it under the carpet. The way they saw it, the life of a black kid was cheap.
They thought no one would make a fuss. But they were wrong.
Michael Mansfield QC represented the Lawrences at the inquiry. He tried to push the question of corruption and links between police and career criminals.
He pointed to the inexplicable two weeks it took for the suspects to be rounded up.
He was blocked by the police and curtailed by the inquiry’s head, William Macpherson.
It was very frustrating for the family, who were getting hints about a conspiracy. Yet the Macpherson report barely mentioned it.
This is an extraordinary picture of racism and corruption going right to the top. This is not just about the Met in London. It is about how the police operate in society. It’s about protection of power.
Theresa May has been forced to denounce what happened in Stephen’s case. But it’s a high risk strategy for the Tories. Once you open a can of worms you don’t know what can crawl out.
And we would have never known any of this if not for the tenacity of Doreen and Neville Lawrence and their supporters.
A ‘troubling’ memory lapse
The Met has “temporarily” moved Commander Richard Walton from his post.
Walton was part of the Lawrence Review Team in 1998 when he met an undercover officer, known as N81, to prepare a briefing for his boss Paul Condon.
After Walton learnt that Ellison would criticise him, he claimed not to remember any details of the meeting.
Ellison found this “unconvincing” and “troubling”.
Police rebuff women victims
The Met is applying to have the courts strike out a case against it by women with whom undercover cops started sexual relationships.
It says the case would be unfair to police because they cannot comment on the claims. The women point out that Met representatives do comment on undercover officers—when it suits them.
They call on supporters to rally at the Royal Courts of Justice on Tuesday of next week.
Hillsborough spying claims
Hillsborough disaster campaigners have made formal complaints that police spied on them.
Some 96 Liverpool football fans died as a result of a crush at Sheffield’s Hillsborough stadium in 1989.
Lawyer Elkan Abrahamson called for the allegations to be included in the public inquiry announced by home secretary Theresa May.
Read more from our archive
There's years of coverage on the Socialist Worker archive including:
- Stephen Lawrence: The murder they wanted to forget bit.ly/1fmozLT
- The Daniel Morgan case and Hackgate bit.ly/1nF2qij
- Laurie Flynn on corruption in the Met bit.ly/1ctnozm
- The gangster of Eltham bit.ly/PnEvZe
- How we shut down the Nazis in Welling bit.ly/1h9g5tX