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'It might have been incompetent, but it wasn't racist': murder detectives' perceptions of the Lawrence Inquiry and its impact on homicide investigation in London

By Janet Foster

Abstract

This article describes murder detectives’ perceptions of the Lawrence Inquiry and its impact on homicide investigation in London. Based on extensive qualitative research with a murder team, and interviews with detectives involved in the original inquiry, the article describes how the events surrounding Stephen Lawrence's murder and its investigation were ‘framed’ in very different ways. In one account race and institutional racism were central, in the other they were peripheral. Although denial of racism was a key feature of detectives’ discourse, their knowledge of murder investigations also led them to challenge criticisms made of the investigation – some of which were supported by the research. However, it was also apparent that detectives were generally unaware of the potential for unwitting or discriminatory behaviour in their investigations

Topics: HM Sociology, HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1080/10439460802008579
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:37112
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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