It has been 25 years since black teenager Stephen Lawrence was stabbed to death at a south London bus stop in an unprovoked attack by a gang of white youths. His brutal murder forced the nation to look at attitudes towards race and crime – and now a new BBC documentary about the killing, and the catalogue of police failings, has left viewers both heartbroken and angry.
The first episode of the three-part documentary airing on Tuesday night focused on the events of 22nd April 1993 and on Doreen Lawrence, Stephen’s mother and his tireless champion in the struggle for justice. And it shone a light on the immediate response to the crime.
For many, it was a hard – but necessary – watch.
There was also a lot of sympathy for Duwayne Brooks, Stephen’s friend who was with him when he was killed. Especially after an interviewee characterised him as one one who “ran away” and left his friend to die.
The documentary aired at a key moment, as the Windrush generation faces an uncertain future – forcing a conversation about racism and immigration in today’s Britain.
Ultimately people were just heartbroken for Stephen’s friends and relatives, and what they have had to endure.
Part two of the documentary Stephen: The Murder That Changed a Nation will air tonight, Wednesday 18th April at 9pm on BBC1