September 13, 1974
April 22, 1993
Age at Death:
Stephen Lawrence was born in Greenwich District Hospital in London, England. His parents, Nevilleand Dorren Lawrence, emigrated to the UK from Jamacia. He was the oldest of three children in the family. He was never married or had any kids, as he died at the age of 18. However, he studied technology and physics and was always excelling in school and athletics.
Lawrence went to school on April 22, 1993 just like any other day. After school he went shopping in Lewisham and then traveled by bus to his uncle's house in Grove Park. He met his friend and they hung out together and then went to the bus stop. A group of 5 or 6 white youths were crossing a street the opposite way at the same time as Lawrence and his friend and moved towards them. Lawrence asked his friend if he saw the bus coming and the whites came up to him and used racial slurs and attacked him for no reason. They forced him to the ground, stabbed him to a depth of 5 inches all over his body. He lost feeling in his arms and couldn't breathe. Lawrence bled to death soon afterwards and was taken to a hospital, but it was too late.
Was justice served?
Witnesses and other individuals helped identify the suspects over a 2-week period. Multiple investigations demonstrated that the police tried to cover up evidence and smear the Lawrence's family reputation to avoid prosecution of the white youths. Four years later, a jury found 5 defendents guilty of "in a completely unprovoked racist attack by five white youths." The Daily Mail newspaper highlighted the racial incident with a headline that read, "Murderers: The Mail accuses these men of killing. If we are wrong, let them sue us." The paper included pictures of all 5 suspects, none of whom ever sued the paper. This public focus helped garner public support against the suspects and the police who mismanaged the case.
Not until January of 2012 were 2 of the suspects held guilty of murder.