The son of Cherry Groce – the woman shot and paralysed by police during a raid on her home in 1985 – has revisited the Brixton bedroom where he witnessed the shooting.
Yesterday an inquest jury at Southwark Crown Court yesterday found the Metropolitan Police guilty of failings over the planning and implementation of the armed raid as they searched for another child of Cherry’s, Michael Groce.
Cherry Groce was paralysed from the waist down in the incident – and died of kidney failure in 2011. After the inquest verdict, Met Police commissioner Bernard Hogan Howe apologised ‘unreservedly’ for the shooting – and for the fact it took 29 years for the apology to be made. The event went on to ignite widespread rioting in Brixton.
Lee Lawrence, who was 11-years-old and asleep in bed with his mother when officers raided their house, was filmed by Channel Four during the visit. In an emotional interview he said: “I don’t think I’ll ever get over what happened that day.
“When ever I think about this situation I am like an 11-year-old kid again, who is angry and upset. And distressed because I’ve just witnessed my Mum being shot. I just saw her laying on the floor and I saw a police man standing with the gun… shouting.
“I remember standing up on the bed and shouting “what have you done to my mum?. I leant over and I saw the blood coming from her side.”
The Groce family had to fight for legal aid to be represented at the inquest.
READ MORE: Putting the Past in its Place: Brixton Blog interviews Michael Groce earlier this year