The Lawrence ‘Guilty’ verdict
The Metropolitan Black Police Association welcomes the guilty verdict in the Stephen Lawrence murder trial. The Association acknowledges the very tragic and personal human cost to the Lawrence family in their 18 year struggle for justice and commends Doreen and Neville Lawrence’s determination and courage in challenging the police and wider justice system in their pursuit for justice and equality, which has brought about a transformation in race relations across the United Kingdom.
Bevan Powell, Chair of the Metropolitan Black Police Association said; ‘Today’s verdict brings a sense of justice to a long overdue prosecution. The Lawrence’s persistence brought about a social consciousness which questioned and challenged the then existing inadequacies and failures inherent within the police and wider justice system to deliver fairness in cases which involved race and minority communities”.
Charles Crichlow, NBPA President said, “These Guilty Verdicts represent a triumph for the Lawrence Family’s determination and despite the failings of the initial police investigation they represent also a triumph of justice”.
Mr Powell highlights the debt of gratitude owed to the Lawrence family for their tenacity in holding the criminal justice system to account in it’s obligation to serve all people fairly and justly.
The Metropolitan Black Police Association acknowledges the commitment of the Metropolitan Police Service to finally bring to justice those who have murdered Stephen. The Association also recognises the progress made by the MPS in its management of race relations and associated practice and procedures. However, the Association also stresses the need for further progress and the need to ensure that police service delivery is fair and just to all people, irrespective of their ethnicity or cultural background.
Mr Powell added, ‘Now is not the time to be complacent in addressing wider societal challenges around race and equality, because they are not far removed from the same challenges we faced as a society 18 years ago when Stephen was brutally murdered.