LONDON (AP) — The parents of a Black teenager who was killed in a 1993 racist attack have vowed to keep fighting for justice despite a decision by London’s police force to classify their murder investigation as inactive.
Stephen Lawrence, 18, was attacked by a group of white youths while waiting for a bus with a friend in southeast London. He was stabbed and bled to death. Two of the killers, Gary Dobson and David Norris, were convicted of murder in 2012 and imprisoned, but three other initially arrested suspects remained free.
Lawrence's parents, Doreen and Neville Lawrence, have spent decades campaigning to focus attention on the case, which was riddled from the start by accusations of police racism, incompetence and corruption. A 1997 public inquiry ordered by the British government found mistakes in the homicide investigation and institutional racism in the Metropolitan Police Service.
“It is never too late to give a mother justice for the murder of her son,’’ Doreen Lawrence said after the decision announced Tuesday to declare the investigation inactive. “Whilst the Metropolitan Police have given up, I never will.”
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said she shared the frustration and promised to reactivate the case if new information is found. She said the Lawrences had provided a public service by helping to reform the police department.
“As a result of ceaseless campaigning for justice by Stephen’s parents, profound changes have happened in policing, the law and wider society,’’ Dick said. “I pay tribute to them for their courage and achievements.’’