Stephen Lawrence’s brother calls on Boris Johnson to ‘stand up’ to racism in Britain

Stephen Lawrence’s brother has branded George Floyd‘s death a ‘modern-day lynching’ and called on Boris Johnson to ‘stand up’ to racism in Britain. 

Stuart Lawrence, 43, from London, appeared on Good Morning Britain today where he spoke about Floyd, 46, who died in Minnesota on May 25th after police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes, while he lay handcuffed on the ground.

Stuart’s own brother was stabbed to death by a gang of youths in a senseless, racially-motivated attack while on his way home 27 years ago, and he admitted that the recent Black Lives Matter protests have ‘brought back’ memories of Stephen. 

The teacher insisted that the coronavirus crisis is the perfect time for a cultural reset because the British public are ready for a ‘new normal’, and asked the Prime Minister to consider his ‘legacy’ and tackle racism while the ‘world has paused’. 

Stephen Lawrence (pictured) was stabbed to death by a gang of youths in a senseless, racially provoked attack while on his way home in 1993

Stephen Lawrence (pictured) was stabbed to death by a gang of youths in a senseless, racially provoked attack while on his way home in 1993

Stephen Lawrence (pictured) was stabbed to death by a gang of youths in a senseless, racially provoked attack while on his way home in 1993 

George Floyd, 46, who died in Minnesota on May 25th after US police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck while he lay handcuffed on the ground

George Floyd, 46, who died in Minnesota on May 25th after US police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck while he lay handcuffed on the ground

George Floyd, 46, who died in Minnesota on May 25th after US police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck while he lay handcuffed on the ground

He said: ‘This is a brilliant time for something to happen. The whole world has paused and is ready for a new normal. 

‘And while we have this moment, we should use this time to implement real change, not where we just talk about it, where leaders really say, “We can do this”. 

‘What will your legacy be Boris? This is your time to stand up and show what a great leader can be. 

‘What a great story for your child to say at school, to say.”He may have made some mistakes in the coronavirus crisis, but he got the stuff about racism right”. Who stood up to the rest of the country and said, “We changed the world for good”.’  

Stephen’s murder reverberated from the streets of Eltham in south-east London to the halls of Westminster and the highest offices of Scotland Yard. 

Stuart Lawrence (Pictured), 43, from London, appeared on Good Morning Britain today where he spoke of Floyd and called on Boris Johnson to 'stand up to racism in Britain'

Stuart Lawrence (Pictured), 43, from London, appeared on Good Morning Britain today where he spoke of Floyd and called on Boris Johnson to 'stand up to racism in Britain'

Stuart Lawrence (Pictured), 43, from London, appeared on Good Morning Britain today where he spoke of Floyd and called on Boris Johnson to ‘stand up to racism in Britain’ 

Stuart, pictured at a memorial service for his brother,  told how the recent protests surrounding George Floyd's death have 'brought back' memories of Stephen's murder

Stuart, pictured at a memorial service for his brother,  told how the recent protests surrounding George Floyd's death have 'brought back' memories of Stephen's murder

Stuart, pictured at a memorial service for his brother,  told how the recent protests surrounding George Floyd’s death have ‘brought back’ memories of Stephen’s murder

His death provoked an outcry that became a national protest, with the Daily Mail heading the campaign for justice. It would lead to the exposure of institutional racism running deep in the Metropolitan Police. 

Stuart told how the recent protests surrounding George Floyd’s death have ‘brought back’ memories of Stephen’s murder, and spoke out against language used to describe the incident. 

‘It has brought back that awful night we lost Steven’, said Stuart,  ‘I wish to give my condolences to George’s family. Why are we here losing another life in this manner? It’s devastating, it really is.’  

Speaking of the rhetoric that has been used about the death of George, Stuart added: ‘It was public, modern-day lynching of a man. If we don’t use the right language, we are not giving this event the grandeur it deserves.’ 

Stuart said coronavirus crisis is the perfect time for a cultural reset as the British public are ready for a 'new normal' and asked the Prime Minister to consider his 'legacy' and tackle racism while the 'world has paused'

Stuart said coronavirus crisis is the perfect time for a cultural reset as the British public are ready for a 'new normal' and asked the Prime Minister to consider his 'legacy' and tackle racism while the 'world has paused'

Stuart said coronavirus crisis is the perfect time for a cultural reset as the British public are ready for a ‘new normal’ and asked the Prime Minister to consider his ‘legacy’ and tackle racism while the ‘world has paused’

Stephen’s death has not been forgotten amid the Black Lives Matter protests, with Star Wars actor John Boyega giving a rallying speech recalling his death.   

‘It is important and it was super emotional to hear his name [at the protests], said Stuart. 

‘I did reach out on social media to say, “I appreciate it and I stand with you”. That shows you the levels of where this is coming from and going to. 

‘The Brixton riots, there were mainly black people there. This is all the young people who are saying “I’m fed up, enough is enough now”. We know it’s wrong now to treat people differently for the colour of their skin.’ 

He went on to call for change 'at the top', insisting a shift in laws and policy will mean that change 'trickles down to the grassroots of this country'

He went on to call for change 'at the top', insisting a shift in laws and policy will mean that change 'trickles down to the grassroots of this country'

He went on to call for change ‘at the top’, insisting a shift in laws and policy will mean that change ‘trickles down to the grassroots of this country’

He went on to call for change ‘at the top’, insisting a shift in laws and policy will mean that change ‘trickles down to the grassroots of this country’. 

‘We need an open honest dialogue’, said Stuart, ‘This is my fight to have. I’m hoping my son will never have to come on a TV show and speak about his uncle and how things haven’t changed. 

‘Now is the time, I’m willing to help where I can and implement this once and for all. Laws need to be changed, policies need to be changed at the top and it will trickle down until it gets the grassroots of this country.’ 

And speaking in a separate interview with The Sun, Stuart added that he was ‘gutted’ that George Floyd’s family had had to go through what his own family went through. 

‘I’m gutted that someone else’s family has had to experience something as horrific as this. I find it so hard to talk about, having been in that position myself,’ he said. 

Speaking of the moment he saw news of Floyd’s death, he said he told his son, Theo, that he is ‘not different’ even if some people try to tell him that he is because of his skin colour. 

‘I had to change the channel. But after my son saw an officer with his knee on a black man’s neck, I was forced to have a conversation with him about racism.

‘I asked him if he felt different. He looked at me strangely so I said, “The day you feel different or someone says you’re different and you feel confused, you need to tell me — because you’re not different”.’ 

The father added that Floyd’s death was a ‘world-changing moment’ but that violence was not a way to achieve change. 

He also spoke of an occasion where he stopped by police and said that if they had bothered to check his license plate, they would have known he was ‘going home’ to where the car was registered. 

‘It’s racial profiling and must stop,’ he said.     

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