Digging the dirt to smear Stephen Lawrence family
So, let's get this right.
While Neville and Doreen Lawrence were struggling to cope with the trauma of the brutal murder of Stephen, their 18-year-old son, the police who were supposed to be investigating the crime were, in fact, told to find 'dirt' on the whole Lawrence family, in order to smear and undermine their campaign against racism in the police force?
This is the astonishing allegation of former undercover officer Peter Francis, who says he posed for four years as an anti-racist campaigner. He was also asked to target one of the witnesses to the murder, Duwayne Brooks: "I had to get any information on what was happening in the Stephen Lawrence campaign," Mr Francis told the Guardian. "They wanted the campaign to stop. It was felt it was going to turn into an elephant. Throughout my deployment there was almost constant pressure on me personally to find out anything I could that would discredit these campaigns."
The murder of Stephen Lawrence must have been a cause of unimaginable grief for the family. To discover now that there was a conspiracy to discredit them and key witnesses is profoundly shocking and deeply disturbing. Indeed, it is evidence in itself that Sir William Macpherson was right to conclude that the force was 'institutionally racist'. At the moment, of course, these are simply the allegations of one former police officer. But in the context of recent revelations of police misconduct in the phone-hacking and 'Plebgate' scandals, one might be forgiven for inclining to believe Mr Francis's allegations.
The police have been corrupted by political vendettas and sinister agendas. While we're consistently led to believe they're leaving no stone unturned and exploring every avenue in their inquiries, they are, in fact, seeking to preserve their reputation and discredit those who raise a complaint against them - especially if they're black and allege racism.
Mr Francis said he came under 'huge and constant pressure' from his superiors to 'hunt for disinformation' that might be used to undermine those arguing for a better investigation into the murder. Why should any police officer be wasting time, money and resources on finding 'dirt' on a victim of crime? Surely they should be totally focused on finding the criminals?
Peter Francis has become a whistleblower. He has decided to reveal his identity to call for a public inquiry into undercover policing. "There are many things that I've seen that have been morally wrong, morally reprehensible," he said. "Should we, as police officers, have the power to basically undermine political campaigns? I think that the clear answer to that is no."
As a whistleblower, he will now become the victim of all manner of harassment, bullying and subtle forms of persecution. He will be systematically undermined, demoralised, and his mental health questioned. Just as he was tasked with spreading 'disinformation' about the Lawrences, so his superiors will seek to discredit and slander him. It is a sadly familiar tale.