I am saddened to learn of the passing of Sir William Macpherson.
When the Inquiry into Stephen’s murder was announced with Sir William as its Chair, my family and I were extremely concerned at his appointment.
This is because we had read about his past. He seemed completely unsuited to an investigation into racism in the police and so we asked the then Home Secretary Jack Straw to replace him. That didn’t happen, and I am glad because Sir William had the decency and integrity to listen carefully to what was overwhelming evidence of racism infecting the investigation into my son’s murder.
Despite his background and experience Sir William, together with his advisers, was able to understand how racism affected both the police and society and provided a framework of how it could be eradicated.
I had great aspirations that, in his lifetime, Sir William might have been able to see how his Report was able to change policing and society for the better. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to, as racism continues to affect both the police and society at large.
There is still much work to be done and Sir William’s conclusions remain as relevant today as they were when they were published in 1999.
They are a part of Sir William’s legacy and, whilst his family will be very saddened for their loss, they should be incredibly proud of what he did for me and my family.