Pavilion to be unveiled in honour of Brixton mother shot by police in front of children

By Toby Porter

A pavilion to a mother who died after being shot by a police officer in a raid on her home will be unveiled next month.

Cherry Groce’s struggle and her family’s work in the community will be marked by the landmark in Windrush Square, Brixton, around the 10th anniversary of her death.

Lambeth Council and The Cherry Groce Foundation say the memorial is scheduled to be unveiled at the end of April.

It is designed by global architect Sir David Adjaye and has been funded by the town hall, the foundation, and local businesses and supporters.

Cherry Groce

Cherry was shot in 1985 by the Metropolitan Police in front of her children at her house in Brixton and was left paralysed by the attack.

She suffered ill health and needed decades of care from her family before she died of complications from her injuries in April 2011.

At the time, the police shooting sparked the 1985 uprising against institutional racism in Lambeth.

The Metropolitan police force eventually issued an apology for their actions in 2014.

Her son Lee Lawrence’s book, The Louder I Will Sing, about the shooting and the impact of the Met Police’s action on his life, on his mother’s life and the whole community won the Costa memoir award in January this year for the memoir.

Lee said: ”The injustice done to my mother on September 28 1985 and its aftermath, catalysed our community to act together relentlessly and persistently in the pursuit of justice for more than three decades.

“Our achievements together in that effort can inspire us to continue to work together to make justice a reality across our society.”

Sir David Adjaye explained: “The construction of this memorial will speak to restorative justice and will symbolize that what matters to the community, matters to London and the whole world.

Sir David Adjaye

“This tragedy went too long in the public realm without acknowledgement and there is now renewed urgency and importance in finally facing this history.”

Cllr Jack Hopkins, Lambeth Council Leader, said: “We are proud to be working alongside the Groce family and Sir David on this fitting memorial to Cherry Groce, an innocent woman from our borough who experienced terrible suffering as a result of a major injustice.

“We hail the Groce family for their commitment in getting to the truth of Cherry’s shooting, for their resilience in the face of suffering and for their determination to create a long lasting tribute to their mum which will make sure this injustice will not be forgotten.”

London South Bank University graduate Sir David won the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Gold Medal this year  He was knighted in 2017 for his services to architecture.

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