Derbyshire police pledges support for Stephen Lawrence Day

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Derbyshire police are celebrating the life and legacy of Stephen Lawrence from south-east London, who was murdered in an unprovoked racist attack on April 22, 1993.

A spokesperson said: “Stephen and his friend were waiting at a bus stop when they were approached by a group of men shouting racist abuse. Stephen was stabbed twice and killed by the attackers. After the initial police investigation, five suspects were arrested but none were convicted.

“In Derbyshire Constabulary we value people and their differences. We continue to aim to have a fully representative and diverse workforce helping to make our society a fairer place.

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“We are joining in with the #BecauseOfStephen campaign today, where officers are supporting messages from Stephen’s legacy, including how they have the motivation to succeed, and how they feel empowered to reach their potential.

Derbyshire police officers mark Stephen Lawrence DayDerbyshire police officers mark Stephen Lawrence Day
Derbyshire police officers mark Stephen Lawrence Day

“We hope you will join us today in remembering Stephen.”

A 1998 public inquiry, headed by Sir William Macpherson, examined the original Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) investigation and concluded that the force was institutionally racist.

After a further review in 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.

Dobson's original acquittal had been quashed by the Court of Appeal, allowing a retrial to take place - following a 2005 change in the law that was triggered by the Macpherson report.

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Dobson and Norris were found guilty of Stephen's murder in January 2012, and were sentenced to minimum terms of 15 years 2 months and 14 years 3 months respectively for what the judge described as a "terrible and evil crime".

In 2013 a former undercover police officer stated in an interview that, at the time, he had been pressured to find ways to "smear" and discredit the victim's family, in order to deter public campaigning for better police responses to the case.

Home Secretary Theresa May ordered an independent inquiry by a prominent QC into undercover policing and corruption, which was described as "devastating" when published in 2014. An inquiry into whether members of the police force shielded the alleged killers was set up in October 2015.