Written by Lucas Bourne
Hi, I am Lucas Bourne, a very keen footballer but most importantly a volunteer for KickOff@3. You’re probably thinking what is KickOff@3? Well it is an initiative set up by two young independent men named Michael Wallace a Police Officer who works in and around the community and youth engagement. He is also a part of the Black Police Association and is very passionate about all the work he does. Ashley Levien originally set up Suberbos, a social inclusion organisation that delivered free initiatives in the London Borough of Barnet. He no longer runs Suberbos but continues to volunteer in his community. In 2017 the plan between the two was agreed on and KickOff@3 has continued to grow and deliver successful football projects throughout the UK.
Stephen Lawrence (13 September 1974 – 22 April 1993) a black British teenager from Plumstead, South-East London, who was brutally murdered in a racially motivated attack whilst waiting for a bus in Well Hall, Elham, on the night of 22 April 1993. Two of attackers were convicted of murder of 2012. After the initial investigation, five suspects were arrested but not charged. The rumour was that Lawrence was killed because he was black which is a disgrace still to society to this day. His killing was the fourth racial murder in two years. His friend Dwayne Brooks came across unhurt in the attack, but Stephen was wounded badly and managed to stagger 120 metres before collapsing. The ugly murder of Lawrence led to many changes in policing, one of the first acts of the Labour government in 1997 was to announce a public inquiry into the murder of Lawrence. The case itself achieved national prominence amid claims of police ineptitude, racism and corruption. The murder of Lawrence struck the news and the whole nation, and this was seen as a wakeup call to police to act quicker on cases like Lawrence’s. The inquiry Judge William Macpherson also established that racism was also a problem in the British police service during this time of the murder. Many senior police officers came forward and admitted the problem in support of the judge. The Black Police Association which Michael Wallace is now proudly a part of, provided evidence that racism was part of the police culture of 1990s, however there is still much more to be done in British Policing today.
I hope by demonstrating racism is still an issue in the world today, young people can learn from this and discuss what could of been done by the police to prevent the vile attack on Lawrence and how justice could of been served for Lawrence’s family. To this day, many young people struggle to achieve their goals because of factors they cannot control like where they are born, the school they go to, or the colour of their skin. A trust named after Stephen Lawrence was founded in August 1998. One of The Trust’s four core beliefs is that all young people should receive the same quality of education and training, and the help they need to reach their goals. This is one of the few positives that came out of the murder. National Stephen Lawrence Day also comes as a positive which takes place on the 22nd of April each year in remembrance of the life and legacy of Stephen.