The Next Stephen Lawrence?: Racist Violence and Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland

the next Stephen report

“In September my husband returned from Nigeria. He had gone over there because there had been a bereavement in his family. On his return home he was immediately greeted with racist abuse from local youths in the area shouting at him and taunting him. This was very difficult for my husband as it was in stark contrast to his experience in Nigeria where he was treated with respect. Within months of his return from Nigeria my husband was diagnosed with high blood pressure and diabetes. My husband attributed the onset of these conditions to the intimidation and persistent attacks on our home and us. My husband’s mental state was very poor and he was afraid that he would snap and he decided that he could not longer remain in Northern Ireland. He felt that our complaints to the police were not being taken seriously. They could not guarantee the safety of our family. My husband was physically assaulted by youths throwing stones and water balloons on numerous occasions and he did not want to remain to be the next
Stephen Lawrence.”
(NICEM client)

“I think that that’s what will probably happen, somebody is going to get killed. Racist harassment is going to happen until there’s somebody from the ethnic minorities that does get killed and then they will startpushing for new laws and trying to do something – but as we all know, that is going to be too late….”
(NICEM client)