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The Stephen Lawrence Case

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Dr Anthony Gunter (The Open University) discusses the murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence in a racist attack in London on 22 April 1993, and why the case is considered a watershed moment in the history of race relations in Britain. In the first lecture, we set the context by exploring issues around race and policing since 1945, and especially the notion that BAME communities are “overpoliced and underprotected”. In the second lecture, we look at police malpractice during the investigation into Stephen’s murder and the Lawrence family’s fight for justice. Next, we explore the Lawrence Inquiry, commissioned in 1997, its recommendations, and its hugely important finding that the investigation into Stephen’s murder was marred by “institutional racism”. In the fourth and final lecture, we consider the legacies of the Lawrence Inquiry, including changes to the law and police practices, before tempering this by noting some persistent problems in the policing of BAME communities.

About the Lecturer

Dr Anthony Gunter is Senior Lecturer and Programme Lead for Childhood and Youth Studies at the Open University. His research focuses on black youth subcultures and the policing of BAME communities. He is author of Race, Gangs and Youth Violence: Policy, Prevention and Policing (2017) and Growing Up Bad? Black Youth, ‘Road’ Culture and Badness in an East London Neighbourhood (2010).