Stephen Lawrence Day in the UK Date in the current year: April 22, 2022

Stephen Lawrence Day in the UK Stephen Lawrence Day is an annual remembrance day observed in the United Kingdom on April 22. It honors the memory of a black teenager who was killed in a racist attack at a bus stop in London in April 1993.

Stephen Lawrence was born on September 13, 1974 in a family of Jamaican immigrants who came to the UK in the 1960s. He was the eldest of three children. During his teenage years, Lawrence was a hard-working student. He excelled in running and even appeared as an extra in the film For Queen and Country starring Denzel Washington. At the time of his death, he was studying physics and technology, hoping to become an architect.

On the evening of April 22, 1993, Lawrence was standing at a bus stop with his friend, waiting for a bus home. When he walked along the street to see if the bus was coming, a group of white youths surrounded Lawrence and stabbed him with a knife in the right collarbone and left shoulder. Both wounds were about 5 inches deep; they severed axillary arteries and penetrated a lung. Lawrence tried to run away, but he only managed to run 130 yards before collapsing.

Lawrence’s friend called an ambulance, and an off-duty police officer who was driving by stopped his car, covered Lawrence with a blanket and stayed with him until the ambulance arrived. Sadly, Lawrence had bled to death by the time the ambulance got him to the hospital.

There were three witnesses at the bus stop when the Lawrence was murdered. In the days following the attack, several residents came forward to name suspects. An anonymous note left on the windscreen of a police care blamed a local gang consisting of give people.

As a result, the main suspects investigated by the police were Gary Dobson, brothers Jamie and Neil Acourt, David Norris, and Luke Knight. All of them had a previous history of involvement in racist knife attacks in the neighborhood. The suspects were arrested, but all charges were eventually dropped due to insufficient evidence.

In April 1994, Lawrence’s family initiated a private prosecution. Since the family were not entitled to legal aid, they had to establish a fighting fund to pay for the investigation, and their lawyers worked pro bono. The charges against Norris and Jamie Acourt were dropped before the trial, and the remaining three suspects were acquitted by a jury in April 1996.

A cold case review of Lawrence’s murder commenced in 2006. Four years later, Norris and Dobson were arrested. In 2012, they were found guilty and sentenced to detention at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, which equals a life sentence for an adult. The investigation of Steven Lawrence’s murder also led to a massive internal investigation into corruption and institutional racism in the Metropolitan Police Service.

On April 23, 2018, during a memorial service marking the 25th anniversary of Stephen Lawrence, Prime Minister Theresa May declared April 22 as Stephen Lawrence Day. It has been observed annually since 2019.

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Category

Anniversaries and Memorial Days

Country

United Kingdom

Tags

Stephen Lawrence Day in the UK, memorial days, remembrance days, holidays in the UK, racist attack