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Stephen Lawrence's Brother Stuart: 'Racist Police Target Me Because I'm Black'

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Stephen Lawrence's brother has launched a legal battle against Scotland Yard, claiming he has been stopped by police up to 25 times because of his skin colour.

Teacher Stuart Lawrence, 35, whose teenage brother was murdered in a racist attack, has now consulted lawyers over the "ludicrous" police action.

He said he was moved to act after he was pulled over by two officers in November while he sat in his VW Scirocco near his home in Peckham, South London.

stuart lawrence

Stephen's brother Stuart

When he asked why he was stopped, one officer told him the pair were "naturally suspicious" of him, he claimed.

He told the Daily Mail: "I am being targeted because of the colour of my skin, I don't think it's because I am Stephen's brother.

"Whenever I have been stopped, I have never subsequently been charged with anything, and nothing has ever been found to be wrong with my car.

"I have never, ever, done anything wrong. I have never been in trouble with the law. I have paid my road tax and my insurance, and always tried to keep my cars in a roadworthy state."

stephen lawrence

Stephen Lawrence was murdered in a racist attack in 1993

He said he has been stopped around 25 times but was pulled over at police checkpoints - where officers were apparently checking drivers' tax and insurance - on only two of these occasions.

This was down to "no other reason, apart from racism", he said.

A letter of complaint was sent to Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe yesterday, naming the officers allegedly involved in the latest incident.

Mr Lawrence, who is engaged to be married and has a two-year-old son, said he felt "angry and frustrated" and believed there had been little progress in the way police deal with black people.

doreen lawrence

Doreen Lawrence, Stephen and Stuart's mother

His brother was stabbed to death by a gang of five or six attackers in Eltham, south-east London, in 1993, at the age of 18.

The original investigation into his death failed to solve the case and was dogged by allegations of corruption and racism.
The Macpherson Inquiry later concluded the Metropolitan Police was "institutionally racist".

Only two of the killers have been convicted.

Gary Dobson and David Norris were found guilty by a jury at the Old Bailey last year, after a cold case review team discovered tiny traces of forensic evidence linking them to the murder.

Mr Lawrence added: "A lot of recommendations were made by the Macpherson Inquiry but it seems that it hasn't made much difference.

"I would like to know when things are going to change, when is there going to be a society where you are not pulled over because you are a black guy or a black person driving a particular car.

Mr Lawrence's solicitor Imran Khan told the Daily Mail: "Previously Stuart has not complained or otherwise drawn attention to what has happened to him, but now, when the Metropolitan police seemingly trumpet how things have changed for the better, he has felt the need to take action."

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Mr Lawrence's complaint, which we received last night, is a very serious matter and it will be investigated thoroughly and speedily.

"Stop and search is an important tool to combat crime and is supported by the community if it is used professionally and fairly.

"Officers are accountable for their actions and it is therefore essential complaints such as these are fully investigated.

"The Commissioner has made it clear that he will not tolerate any form of racism in the MPS. Strong action will be taken against any individuals in the MPS if they are found to have acted in a racist manner."

Scotland Yard is expected to refer the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
Lawyers hope the complaint can be resolved out of court.

Mr Khan added: "We are delighted that they (Scotland Yard) are pursuing it so quickly."