Stephen Lawrence's parents are losing confidence that a "spy cops" probe will reveal the truth about why undercover cops attacked their family after his murder, their lawyers have said.
The Undercover Policing Inquiry was told today how officials circled the Lawrence family trying to smear them instead of catching their son's killers.
In an opening address for Stephen's mother, Baroness Doreen Lawrence, Imran Khan told QC that she doubted the new investigation would find out why they were being spied on.
Stephen Lawrence was murdered by a gang of racists in 1993, and incompetence and racism in the police force prejudiced the original investigation into his death
How the police spied Stephen Lawrence's family
A campaigning group for Stephen Lawrence was one of several organizations spied on by undercover cops.
Peter Francis, a former Metropolitan Police (SDS) Special Demonstration Squad who turned whistleblower, claimed he was hired to smear the Lawrence family in the late 1990s. This has always been denied by the force.
An undercover officer using the false name David Hagan and Mr. Francis are known to have joined the Justice Movement in the late 1990s and remained a member for two or three years.
It happened during Macpherson's public investigation into Stephen's murder and the alleged corruption, racism and incompetence that followed the police investigation into his death.
The undercover officer participated in the investigation, pretending to be a supporter of the Lawrence campaign while returning information to colleagues at the Met.
In August 1998, he met with Acting Detective Inspector Richard Walton, who was working on Scotland Yard's final filings for the investigation, and passed on details he had gathered undercover.
This included the fact that Stephen's parents had separated, as well as information on "the progress, reasons, and details of the Lawrence family's decisions in relation to the investigation."
A 2014 covert policing report by Attorney Mark Ellison QC alleged that Mr. Walton had "received information about the Lawrence family and their supporters, which may undermine investigation and public trust."
He said that if the presence of the officer had been exposed it would have caused "a far more serious public disturbance than anything the original covert operation".
Dr. Neville Lawrence has requested that the aliases of four other officers involved in the operation be published in the Undercover Policing Inquiry.
- HN109, who was Peter Francis' manager at the start of his assignment
- HN101 colleague of Mr. Francis
- HN86, the Detective Chief Inspector in charge of the safety data sheet from 1993-1996, who allegedly represented racist views and allegedly called on Mr. Francis to pollute the Lawrence family
- HN58 the safety data sheet manager from 1997 to 2001 who allegedly knew about the meeting between Mr Hagan and Mr Walton
He also requested more information about the roles of two family liaison officers who began recording the names of those visiting the Lawrences after Stephen's murder. A list of these visitors was finally forwarded to the safety data sheet.
Dr. Lawrence found her behavior so "deeply insensitive and disrespectful" that he prevented her from entering his house.
Today, Heather Williams QC, representative of Dr. Lawrence, speaking to the Undercover Policing Inquiry: "He is appalled by the mere fact that during this extremely difficult and personal time undercover officers circled him and his family looking for material to smear them with ;; especially when officers should have done everything in their power to find his son's murderers. & # 39;
She continued, “None of this could have been for any legitimate police purpose. If these matters are true, it is another indication that, at least as far as black families are concerned, the organization that should be there to protect them, the Metropolitan Police, is actually trying to undermine them.
“How can the public have confidence in the surveillance of black communities when the power of the police is being used to discredit crime victims? All of this increases the perception for many people that black lives do not matter to the police. & # 39;
Stephen was murdered by a gang of racists in 1993, and incompetence and racism in the police force prejudiced the original investigation into his death.
Almost 20 years later, two of his killers, Gary Dobson and David Norris, were eventually arrested, but the remaining three suspects were never brought to justice.
Mr. Khan said, “Baroness Lawrence will lose confidence in the ability of this investigation to discover the truth if she has not already lost it.
The truth about why she, her family, and supporters have been spied on by the police.
"This investigation does not do what it was promised and does not achieve what it expected."
The feeling was confirmed by Heather Williams QC, whom Stephen's father, Dr. Neville Lawrence represented, saying, “The progress made in this investigation to date does not result in him having confidence in its approach or its outcome.
"So that he can draw a line among these terrible events, it is Dr. It is very important to Lawrence that he be able to participate in a fully transparent investigation to determine the truth about what happened and learn the lessons necessary to prevent recurrence. & # 39;
The Lawrences also raised concerns about the number of police officers and staff granted anonymity. Currently, the aliases of 51 officers and 119 of the actual names of officers and employees must remain secret.
Ms. Williams said if the family got at least the officers' cover names, they could testify what the police spies did.
So far one has been released – David Hagan – but there are four more that remain anonymous and that Dr. Lawrence would have liked to have identified.
Baroness Lawrence believes that it was only the public nature of the Macpherson investigation into her son's death that resulted in the incompetence and racism in the Metropolitan Police being exposed.
Mr. Khan said: “The fact that the city police and individual officers have requested anonymity, and most importantly, have been granted, is a farce and contrary to what a public inquiry stands for and what Baroness Lawrence expects.
"It seems to her that this investigation is more interested in protecting the alleged perpetrators than in the victims."
The Lawrences also called on investigating chairman Sir John Mitting to appoint panel members to help him focus on issues such as racism, just like the investigation into her son's death in the 1990s.
Mr Khan said Baroness Lawrence believes the Metropolitan Police have changed little since her son's death and that the measures taken have been imposed on the service.
It was also found that undercover agents were spying on the family's campaign for justice. Whistleblower Peter Francis claimed he was hired to find "filth" on the Lawrences and their supporters.
Mr. Khan said, “It is inconceivable that a parent has to survive their child – to lose their child under such circumstances is inconceivable. Still fighting for justice 27 years later is unacceptable. and it is simply unforgivable for these parents to fight for justice while being spied on by the police, whose job it was to support and protect them. & # 39;
His opening address contained powerful words from Baroness Lawrence, which read: “No one can truly understand the sheer depth of the heartache that I have felt.
“Many have thought that I attracted and benefited from press attention – the reality is, I crave anonymity and would give up anything I need to go back to the seconds before Stephen's death and prevent it from happening .
'I'm just an ordinary person. I don't have anything in particular that deserves public attention or recognition. I just ask for justice. & # 39;
Both he and Mrs. Williams ended their testimony by telling Sir John not to fail Stephen's family, as has happened in the past.
Mr. Khan said: "You now have a choice of either being one of those in the long line who failed Baroness Lawrence or the few who did not."
Neville and Doreen Lawrence lose faith that a "Spy Cops" probe will reveal the truth about why undercover cops attacked their family after his murder
Heather Williams QC, representative of Stephen's father Dr. Neville Lawrence said, "The progress made on this investigation to date does not result in him having confidence in its approach or its outcome."
Ms. Williams said of the exam: "Dr. Lawrence has failed so badly by the state for so many years as we have shown.
"He very much hopes that he will not have a similar experience with this investigation."
The spy cop, who had a covert relationship with an activist for a year before disappearing, reappeared seven years later and got her to have sex
A spy cop who had a relationship with a pro-Palestinian activist for a year before disappearing for seven years reappeared and made her leave her partner and have sex with him.
The undercover cop worked under the name Robert Harrison as part of an investigation by the Metropolitan Police's Special Demonstration Squad.
An investigation into the behavior of the squad found that 21 women were involved in relationships with police spies.
Phillippa Kaufmann QC yesterday made an opening statement on the Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI).
In it, she revealed a woman named Maya, whose identity is being protected, who, after meeting in Lewisham in 2006, had a nearly year-long sexual relationship with & # 39; Harrison & # 39; was received.
Phillippa Kaufmann QC told the Undercover Policing Inquiry that at least 21 women had been deceived into relationships with police officers infiltrating groups, including Maya, who left her five-year-old partner to re-establish a relationship with a police officer seven years after his disappearance
Harrison had infiltrated the pro-Palestinian international solidarity movement by DJing under the name "Boogie Knight" at fundraising concerts between 2004 and 2007.
He disappeared in 2007 after claiming his mother was dying and that he needed to take care of her.
In 2014, he managed to convince Maya to leave her five-year-old partner and resume their own relationship after claiming he wanted them to have children together.
Ms. Kaufmann told the investigation: “Over the next few months he expressed his desire to resume the relationship and have children together.
& # 39; As a result of this new contact, "Maya" broke up with the partner with whom she had been in a relationship for five years and with whom she also lived at the time.
In February 2015, "Maya" and Rob slept together for the first time since their 2007 split and had unprotected sex. "Maya" had to use emergency contraception the next day.
Rob disappeared the same day. and with the exception of an email sent to her in 2016, he has never contacted Maya since. & # 39;
In 2017 Maya discovered that Rob Harrison was an undercover officer who worked with the Met Police's Special Demonstrations Squad.
Ms. Kaufmann said investigators "groom" women by reflecting their interests and values.
She said, “It is not surprising that many of the women have fallen deeply in love and believe they have met their soulmate.
Then they employed a downright similar and deeply cruel exit strategy – a sudden withdrawal, often accompanied by an apparent nervous breakdown or emotional trauma.
"Not only did this cause women to cope with their own sudden, inexplicable loss, but it also carried a great burden of worry and fear for the well-being of their lost partner."
Ms. Kaufmann believed that there are probably more women who do not know that they were involved in police spies
Upon investigation, Ms. Kaufmann said that 18 of the relationships she presented were sexual, two friendships that were sexual at times, and the other a long-term, close friendship.
The earliest began in 1985 and the last ended in 2015, four years after details of the undercover tactic were released and sparked outrage.
Details about police mole behavior emerged in 2011 after environmental activists discovered that a man named Mark Kennedy was a police spy.
Ms. Kaufmann informed the investigation that there are probably more women who do not know they were involved in police spies.
"It is very likely that there are other women who have not yet discovered that they are affected," she said.
“As a result of the investigation itself, a number of women, including six I represented, found that the relationships they always believed to be meaningful and genuine were actually police infiltrations.
“There may be other women in the same position who don't know. The extensive anonymity granted by the investigation to the officers, including their aliases, means that these women will continue to be denied the truth. "
So far, Investigative Chairman Sir John Mitting has ruled that the aliases of 51 officers must be kept secret, along with 119 of the actual names of officers and staff.
There are more than 30 women identified as being deceived in relationships, and their lawyers claim that officers' involvement in activists was a deliberate tactic.
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