Young people who come into contact with police officers on the streets today have little idea of the significance of the stabbing to death of Stephen Lawrence in a racist attack in 1993. Only their parents or grandparents remember the daily exposures of police incompetence and indirect racism which were given high profile in the media for six months. The repercussions of the case are still on-going with the long overdue conviction in 2012 of two of the original suspects, and in the same year a number of racist assaults by police.
This unique book provides an insider's view of the seminal inquiry into Stephen Lawrence's murder. Dr Richard Stone OBE was a panel member of the Inquiry as Adviser to the judge, Sir William Macpherson. This accessible and engaging book includes analysis of hitherto inaccessible transcripts. These dramatically show how the Inquiry was undermined to the point of failure to produce the desired results.
Dr Stone also discusses contemporary issues and the relevance of the Inquiry today. He says "I have written about my experience because I feel a degree of obligation to tell, from my position at the centre of the Inquiry, just how difficult issues were dealt with."
Hard-hitting and full of insightful detail, this book makes essential reading for academics, students, researchers and anyone interested in institutional racism, particularly in the police.
"It is apt and timely that Dr Stone should reveal detail from the (only now available) transcript evidence, modulated through his own cool, scientific and humanely liberal interpretation of this important event. " Dr Bryn Caless, Senior Lecturer in Policing , Canterbury Christ Church University
"Going through the Inquiry was a reminder of the pain of losing my son - it was difficult but one I had to sit through. The Inquiry filled in the gaps of what happened the night my son was murdered and showed me the depth of racism and corruption that existed in the Metropolitan police service. To be able to read the behind the scenes account by Dr Richard Stone is important for the history of the Inquiry and its legacy.” Doreen Lawrence OBE
"...will provide clarity and better understanding about how the combination of prejudice, poor leadership, unaccountable decision-making and abuse of power contribute to institutional discriminatory outcomes." Lord Herman Ouseley of Peckham Rye
Dr Richard Stone was a panel member of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry into racism in policing (1997/99) as Adviser to the judge Sir William Macpherson. He was then Chair of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality.
His Independent Review of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry 10 Years On (richardstonesli.wordpress.com) was launched by the Justice and Home Secretaries at their 10th anniversary conference in February 2009.
For 20 years Dr Stone was senior partner of a general medical practice in London. For 14 years he worked with British Muslims as chair of the Runnymede Islamophobia Commission and in 2004 he founded Alif-Aleph UK (British Muslims and British Jews). In 2010 he was awarded the OBE for public and voluntary service.
He is an Honorary Fellow of the Cambridge Centre for Muslim-Jewish Relations and an Honorary Research Fellow in the Dept of Criminology at the University of Westminster.
Introduction; Why there was an inquiry; The Inquiry and how I came to be an Adviser on the panel; Cancellations and reinstatements; The Commissioner takes the stand; Searching for the files of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry; Defining ‘institutional racism’ and the challenge to ‘double jeopardy’; Unprofessional policing and timid leadership; Final reflections