In 1993 a young lad, Stephen Lawrence, was tragically murdered by a gang of racists. That much we know and we have known it for a long time. It seems clear to most that the investigation into that murder was flawed and almost certainly derailed by the corrupt actions of one or two officers. However, I have never experienced a Murder Squad that did not want to solve whatever murder they happened to be investigating, whoever the victim was. Race, gender or Social Standing did not come into it. There was a body in the morgue and their job is to identify the killer(s) and prosecute them. I have never experienced anything different to that.
Just less than two years ago (some 20 years after the murder) it was alleged by a former undercover officer that the Met had been involved in ‘spying’ on the Lawrence family.
In the late 1990s it is alleged that (then) DI Richard Walton used undercover officers to facilitate this ‘spying’ in an effort to gain intelligence to help the Met defend itself against allegations that they had failed to properly investigate the initial murder. The illustrious IPCC mounted an investigation into the involvement of Mr Walton.
After 19 months of rigourous investigation they deemed that there was ‘a case to answer’ against (now) Commander Richard Walton. 19 months.
When it became clear that Commander Walton was on the verge of retiring, which he is perfectly entitled to do, before neither the IPCC nor the Met had actually instigated disciplinary proceedings then Stephen’s father Neville leapt up demanding that Mr Walton’s retirement be blocked.
To the Met’s eternal credit they declined to follow this course of action. Commander Ealton has now, I believe, retired after completing his 30 years service. He says that the IPCC always knew of his retirement plans but still took nearly two years to conduct their investigation. I’m quite certain that they would be highly critical of an officer who took almost two years to conduct an investigation.
I have met Richard Walton a couple of times when he was a D.I. He struck me as a decent, conciencious and efficient officer, but @obbsie knows him much better than I do.
The Lawrence murder has proved to be tragedy and a travesty on so many different levels. There are lessons that we need to learn most definitely, but I’m not happy being branded Institutionally Racist by somebody who doesn’t know me. That label has been aplied to every single Met officer for years now, and the majority of people outside the Police Service don’t even understand the significance of it.
I have sympathy with the Lawrence family for their loss, the same as I would have sympathy for anybody else in their situation, but this constant witch hunt just has to end. SOME of the offenders HAVE now been brought to justice. There have been Reviews and Reviews into the Reviews, surely in 2016 it is time to draw a line and build for the future?
Surely there are also lessons to be learnt by the IPCC also?