Black teenager Stephen Lawrence was killed when he was aged 19. He was killed by thugs in a racially motivated attack. Stephen and his friend were waiting at a bus stop around 10.30 at night. A gang of five or six youths attacked and Stephen was stabbed twice. His friend managed to flee. The initial murder suspects were tried but never found guilty.
At the time of the murder and the arrests it was accepted that the UK Police Force was institutionally racist. Over the following years much has been done to improve this but it is worth noting that you are 8 times more likely to be stopped and searched by police in the UK if you are black and not white. Fact.
.The family of Stephen plus politicians and at least one UK media source pushed for an investigation into the fiasco surrounding Stephen's death and subsequent murder investigation. Stephen's Mum was determined that she would get justice for Stephen and 18 years later she finally has.
The two men found guilty today, January 3, 2012 are Gary Dobson and David Norris. Both have been tried before for this murder. They will be sentenced tomorrow. This time though the two men were tried after "new and substantial evidence"was found. The trial used forensic evidence to prove guilt.
As Dobson was led from the court he told the jury that they had, "condemned an innocent man"
Stephen's Mum Doreen spoke outside the court after the verdict was announced. Stephen's father spoke through his legal team. Both received cheers from the onlookers. Both are obviously still grieving for their son. As they said it is not a time for celebration. It is however the start of Justice for Stephen. RIP
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog