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Wednesday, February 24, 1999 Published at 18:10 GMT


'Racism killed my best friend'

Duwayne Brooks was waiting for a bus with Stephen Lawrence

Click here to read Sir William Macpherson's full report on the Stephen Lawrence inquiry.

Stephen Lawrence's school friend Duwayne Brooks has again called for the resignation of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Condon.

Mr Brookes was at the south London bus stop with his best friend on the night he died and gave crucial evidence to the official inquiry.

Soon after the report's release he told a news conference he thought Home Secretary Jack Straw's decision to let Sir Paul stay for the time being was totally and utterly wrong.

Mr Brooks said: "When Mr Condon took up the job in 1991 he said he would eradicate racism.

Duwayne Brooks: "Treated like a suspect"
"Today is 1999 and racism is still here and has played a big part in this case and in many others.

"For Jack Straw to say that Mr Condon should stay is totally wrong. I think Mr Condon should do the honourable thing and resign."

'Racism shattered my life'

The 24-year-old, who has suffered for the last six years from post-traumatic stress disorder, said he was relieved that the inquiry had admitted that racism was an inherent part of the Metropolitan Police.

He said: "Racism killed my best friend Stephen. Racism also stopped officers from administering first aid whilst he was lying on the pavement.

"Racism also allowed the officers investigating this case to treat me like a suspect and not a witness.

"Racism also rubbished our chances of convicting those killers of the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

The BBC's Niall Dickson reports: "This case has shone a light on the racism which still exists in this country"
"Racism has also shattered my life. But today I am pleased to say that the inquiry has found without any doubt whatsoever that the way I was treated by the Metropolitan Police during this whole investigation was down to me being black."

He later told BBC Radio 5Live that on the night of his friend's murder he had been treated "like a suspect" by police.

He said: "They were very suspicious about what I was saying.

"It was a bit like why would two young black men be attacked by five white men for no reason whatsoever."

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24 Feb 99 | UK
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