Lawrence Inquiry Published
The 24th of February 1999 AD
The inquiry headed by Sir William Macpherson into the investigation of Stephen Lawrence’s murder is remembered for its conclusion that the Metropolitan Police Service was at the time of the murder – 1993 – institutionally racist. The report also found that the police investigation of the crime had been incompetent, certain officers having been guilty of fundamental errors in their work on the case. The Police Complaints Authority, to nobody’s great surprise, had found in its own inquiry that officers on the case had not been racist.
There was some public surprise when one of the 70 Macpherson Report recommendations made it clear that the Race Relations Act did not then apply to the police. The report also suggested an end, under special circumstances, to the ancient ‘double jeopardy’ principle in English law.
Enquiries into the crime and its investigation continue. Allegations of corruption have been made with regard to one aspect of the original police enquiry. It is to be hoped that eventually those concerned in Stephen Lawrence’s murder, and anyone who has helped them evade justice thus far, will be convicted.
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