After the initial investigation, five suspects were arrested but never convicted.
In 1999, an inquiry headed by Sir William MacPherson examined the original Metropolitan police investigation and famously concluded that the force was "institutionally racist". An article on BBC Online defined it as 'one of the most important moments in the modern history of criminal justice in Britain'.
Mr. Brooks called out to ask whether Stephen saw the bus coming. The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry describes one of the assailants saying: "What, What, Nigger?" as they all quickly crossed the road and 'engulfed' Lawrence, who was then stabbed to a depth of about five inches on both sides of the front of his body, in the chest and arm. Both stab wounds severed axillary arteries. Although he tried to escape, he collapsed and bled to death after running 119 metres (130 yards).
It is surprising that he managed to get 130 yards with all the injuries he had, but also the fact that the deep penetrating wound of the right side caused the upper lobe to partially collapse his lung. It is therefore a testimony to Stephen's physical fitness that he was able to run the distance he did before collapsing. - Pathologist, Dr Shepherd.
In February, 1999, officers who were investigating the handling of the initial inquiry revealed that a woman had telephoned detectives three times within the first few days after the killing.
In 2004, the police stated: "The witness who appeared on the right of the scene and walked into Rochester Way with Stephen and Duwayne behind is very important to us. We know who this witness is, she knows who she is, we know what she knows. She has never made a statement. This witness may have been the catalyst for the attack".
A case was brought against two of the suspects, Neil Acourt, then 17, and Luke Knight, who was 16, who were initially charged with murder but the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the case on 29 July, 1993, citing insufficient evidence.
In 2002, two men accused in the Lawrence case, David Norris and Neil Acourt, were convicted and jailed for a racist attack on a plainclothes black police officer.
The Lawrence case spurred changes in English law that would allow future cases to be returned to court and retried, even after an acquittal. In the Criminal Justice Act 2003, introduced by Home Secretary David Blunkett, Parliament abolished a previously strict prohibition against double jeopardy. Retrials are now allowed if there is 'new and compelling evidence'.
No one has been convicted of Stephen Lawrence's murder. The suspected killers, all but one now possessing additional police records, are at large and detailed on the Mail website
His mother, Doreen Lawrence, said, "I would like Stephen to be remembered as a young man who had a future. He was well loved, and had he been given the chance to survive maybe he would have been the one to bridge the gap between black and white because he didn't distinguish between black or white. He saw people as people."
On February 7, 2008, the Stephen Lawrence Centre opened in Deptford, south-east London. A week later, it was vandalised in an attack that was initially believed to be racially motivated. However, doubt was cast on that assumption when CCTV evidence appeared to show one of the suspects to be mixed-race. It is believed that this is already the fifth attack on the building..
Bullock retired the day after his punishment was announced, so that it amounted to a mere caution. Neville Lawrence, Stephen's father, criticized the punishment, saying that Bullock was "guilty on all counts." However, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Federation stated that Bullock had been "largely vindicated" in the proceedings.
That same year, while the PCA inquiry was ongoing, Home Secretary Jack Straw ordered a public inquiry. During the inquiry, Detective Superintendent Brian Weeden said that mistakes had been made during the murder investigation. Weeden, who was head of the murder squad for 14 months, admitted that until recently he had not understood the legal grounds on which police could make arrests. Results of the inquiry became known as the Macpherson Report, or the Stephen Lawrence Report.
The Macpherson Report also found that the police were institutionally racist and made a total of 70 recommendations for reform. These proposals included abolishing the double jeopardy rule and criminalising racist statements made in private. Macpherson also called for reform in the British Civil Service, local governments, the National Health Service, schools, and the judicial system, in order to address issues of institutional racism.
A BBC investigation alleged that the murder inquiry's Det. Sgt. John Davidson had taken money from known drug smuggler Clifford Norris, the father of David Norris, a chief suspect in the investigation. Neil Putnam, a former corrupt police detective turned whistleblower, told a BBC investigation that Clifford Norris was paying Mr Davidson to obstruct the case and to protect the suspects. "Davidson told me that he was looking after Norris and that to me meant that he was protecting him, protecting his family against arrest and any conviction," Putnam said. Davidson denied any such corruption.
The Metropolitan Police Service announced it was to open up a special incident room to field calls from the public, following the BBC documentary The Boys Who Killed Stephen Lawrence. The Independent Police Complaints Commission later stated the claims made in the programme were unfounded.
The need to re-establish trust between minority ethnic communities and the police is paramount... seeking to achieve trust and confidence through a demonstration of fairness will not in itself be sufficient. It must be accompanied by a vigorous pursuit of openness and accountability.