Police spied on grieving families for decades. Now we want the truth

Undercover Spy Hidingsource: Guardian Communities
published: 25 October 2019

How many black families have been targeted by undercover police officers? This is the simple question we are still waiting for authorities to answer.

More than five years have passed since Theresa May, then the home secretary, announced a public inquiry following “profoundly shocking” evidence that Met police undercover officers had spied on the grieving parents of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, as well as their campaign to get justice for their son.

Despite Sir John Mitting’s ongoing undercover policing inquiry spending £21m since 2015, public hearings will only commence in the summer of 2020. In July, however, the inquiry did finally manage to publish the fake identity of a black undercover police officer, “Anthony Lewis”, who gathered intelligence on the Lawrences and their supporters.

“Lewis”, like a number of other undercover officers, has admitted he deceived a woman into a long-term relationship while using his fake identity. The exposure of this kind of abusive manipulation has forced senior officers to publicly apologise to other women who were targeted in this way.

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