Campaigner from Halifax will chair civil rights meeting

Janet Alder
Janet Alder

A WOMAN who from Halifax whose brother died in police custody will speak alongside the mother of Stephen Lawrence at a meeting to discuss civil rights, police racism and injustice.

Janet Alder will chair the meting in London on Monday that will feature Doreen Lawrence as a speaker.

Miss Alder has spent the last 14 years campaigning for justice for her brother Christopher, 37. The black former paratrooper choked to death on the floor of a Hull police station on April 1, 1998.

An Independent Police Complaints Commission report in 2006 found the conduct of four officers present at the time amounted to “unwitting racism”. In a horrific blunder that is still the subject of a police investigation, it emerged last year that the body of an elderly Nigerian woman, Grace Kamara, had wrongly been buried in Mr Alder’s grave in 2000.

Miss Alder said she believed there were a number of similarities between the Lawrence case and what happened to her brother.

The Lawrence family had to wait until January this year - 19 years after the crime - to see David Norris and Gary Dobson convicted for Stephen’s murder, although it is thought they had accomplices who are still at large.

Miss Alder, 50, said: “It’s about injustice against the working class, racism against the working class, and some of what happened to Doreen Lawrence and her family was through racism. The (Metropolitan) police were found to be institutionally racist and the family had to fight against injustice. I also believe race played a part in what happened to Christopher and Grace because how can two black people be mixed up in this way, and we are still trying to find out what happened.”