Line Of Duty pays tribute to Stephen Lawrence and Christopher Alder by naming character after them


Line of Duty has been praised for paying a touching tribute to Stephen Lawrence and Christopher Alder.

The BBC police show introduced a new storyline in Sunday night’s episode which saw character Lawrence Christopher, who was also killed in a racially motivated attack, named in honour of the two men. 

During the episode, DC Chloe Bishop [Shalom Brune-Franklin] explained that he had been assaulted by a group of white youths and later died in police custody while officers made monkey noises at him, in stark similarity to both of the real-life cases.

Tribute: Line of Duty has been praised for paying a touching tribute to Stephen Lawrence and Christopher Alder as they introduced new character Lawrence Christopher (picrtured)

Writers used several elements from the real cases, with many fans commending the ‘genius’ show for speaking out about institutional racism of the police.

During an emotional scene, Chloe explained to Steve Arnott how their new person of interest Marcus Thurwell, played by surprise actor James Nesbitt, was the SIO of the Lawerence Christopher case – a case that journalist Gail Vella was investigating.

She detailed how the young architect was attacked outside a railway station in 2003 and a passerby ‘called triple nine’ seeing the victim taken to custody where he died later that night,

Chloe continued that he had an ‘undiagnosed skull fracture’ which ‘contained pieces of lead suggesting he’d been hit by piping’ and that custody officers had made ‘monkey noises as he lay dying’.

Real cases: Stephen Lawrence, 18,  was murdered in a racially motivated attack in London in April 1993

Victim: Christopher Alder died a police cell floor on April 1, 1998

Real cases: Stephen Lawrence, 18, (pictured left) was murdered in a racially motivated attack in London in April 1993 while Christopher Alder (right) died a police cell floor on April 1, 1998

New story: On Sunday's show, DC Chloe Bishop [Shalom Brune-Franklin] explained that Lawrence Christopher had been assaulted by a group of white youths and later died in police custody from an untreated skull fracture while officers made monkey noises at him

New story: On Sunday’s show, DC Chloe Bishop [Shalom Brune-Franklin] explained that Lawrence Christopher had been assaulted by a group of white youths and later died in police custody from an untreated skull fracture while officers made monkey noises at him

Although police first thought his death was gang related, Chloe explained that he was later discovered to be an architect who had never had any trouble with the law.

Explaining that the officers took early retirement and claimed thousands of pounds in compensation, Chloe became visually distressed causing Arnott to ask if she was okay. Chloe replied, ‘how could anyone be okay?’.

The story caused many fans to realise that elements from both Stephen Lawrence and Christopher Alder’s murders had been used to create the character.

What happened to Stephen Lawrence?

Similarities: The fictional case on Line of Duty had similarities to both of the real-life crimes, with both the character and Stephen Lawrence (pictured) being attacked by white gangs

Similarities: The fictional case on Line of Duty had similarities to both of the real-life crimes, with both the character and Stephen Lawrence (pictured) being attacked by white gangs

Stephen Lawrence, an 18-year-old A-level student, was murdered in a racially motivated attack in Eltham, south-east London, in April 1993.

He was with his friend Duwayne when a gang of white youths started shouting racist language at them, stabbing Stephen and leaving him to bleed to death.

Duwayne spent the night being questioned at a police station and police enquiries at the family home seemed equally loaded. Stephen’s parents Doreen and Neville, were asked repeatedly to give the names of Stephen’s black friends.

And despite receiving tips about the gang, a bungled police inquiry meant that no arrests were made for two weeks after his death.

In February 1997, the Daily Mail took the unprecedented step of naming the five suspects – Gary Dobson, David Norris and three others – as Stephen’s killers.

Published: In February 1997, the Daily Mail took the unprecedented step of naming the five suspects – Gary Dobson, David Norris and three others – as Stephen’s killers

Published: In February 1997, the Daily Mail took the unprecedented step of naming the five suspects – Gary Dobson, David Norris and three others – as Stephen’s killers

Ongoing: Last August, Stephen's mother Doreen accused Scotland Yard of giving up on her son after the force effectively conceded defeat in its quest to nail all of his racist killers

Ongoing: Last August, Stephen’s mother Doreen accused Scotland Yard of giving up on her son after the force effectively conceded defeat in its quest to nail all of his racist killers

Following a DNA breakthrough, Dobson, and Norris, now in their 40s, were found guilty in 2012 of stabbing the teenager. They had been named as suspects within 48 hours of the stabbing in April 1993.

The effects of that front page were momentous. A far-reaching inquiry into racism within the Met followed, with the Macpherson Report of 1999. That report also led to changes to the law that ended the ancient legal tradition of double jeopardy, the rule that a suspect could not stand trial twice for the same murder.

Two of the five accused by the Mail, Dobson and Norris, stood trial for Stephen’s murder in 2011, following a ‘cold case’ review, and in the light of ‘new and substantial evidence’. They were found guilty and jailed for life.

Last August, Stephen’s mother accused Scotland Yard of giving up on her son after the force effectively conceded defeat in its quest to nail all of his racist killers.

In a carefully-worded statement 27 years after the teenager was murdered, Met chief Dame Cressida Dick said the inquiry had run out of leads.

She announced the inquiry – which has cost tens of millions of pounds – had entered an ‘inactive phase’. 

What happened to Christopher Alder? 

Tragic: Christopher Alder died at the feet of four officers on a police cell floor in 1998 who had allegedly been making monkey noises at him (pictured in an undated picture)

Tragic: Christopher Alder died at the feet of four officers on a police cell floor in 1998 who had allegedly been making monkey noises at him (pictured in an undated picture)

Mr Alder, a father-of-two who served during the Falklands War, died at the feet of four officers on a police cell floor on April 1, 1998.

He had been punched during an argument outside a nightclub in Hull and was taken to hospital, where he became hostile, perhaps because of his head injury.

He was then discharged into the hands of Humberside Police, who arrested him for a breach of the peace and took him to Queen’s Gardens police station.

By the time he arrived, he was unconscious. He was left handcuffed on the floor while the four officers looked on and did nothing.

They could allegedly be heard on CCTV footage making monkey noises as he lay dying for 11 minutes. They later claimed they thought he was ‘putting on an act’.

But a damning report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission found the men responsible of ‘unwitting racism’. 

Reported: Mr Alder had been discharged from hospital into the hands of Humberside Police, who arrested him for a breach of the peace and took him to Queen's Gardens police station

Reported: Mr Alder had been discharged from hospital into the hands of Humberside Police, who arrested him for a breach of the peace and took him to Queen’s Gardens police station

It concluded that the four officers – who all refused to co-operate with the IPCC investigation – were guilty of a ‘most serious neglect of duty’. They were charged with manslaughter but acquitted at Teesside Crown Court in 2002 on the orders of the trial judge

Two years later, the four police officers were granted early retirement because of stress and were also given payouts over £44,000 as well as police pensions, reports The Mirror.

And in 2011 it was revealed that Mr Alder’s body had been discovered in a mortuary more than a decade after he was apparently buried, with detectives thinking the family were given the wrong body.

Several fans took to Twitter to praise the inclusion of the real-life stories in Sunday’s Line of Duty, with many people saying it was ‘nicely done’ by the BBC. 

Praise: Dozens of fans commended the show for including the tributes, with some saying they were still thinking about it a day after watching the episode

Praise: Dozens of fans commended the show for including the tributes, with some saying they were still thinking about it a day after watching the episode

One person said: ‘Line of Duty highlighting the institutional racism of the police in the cases of Stephen Lawrence and Christopher Alder in the form of Lawrence Christopher.’

And another penned: ‘The similarities between the line of duty’s Christopher Lawrence case and the real life Stephen Lawrence case are scary but very clever considering it’s coming up to the anniversary of his death.’

While someone else said they were still thinking about the poignant tribute the day after the show aired, tweeting: ‘Still thinking about the tribute to Christopher Alder and Stephen Lawrence in Line of Duty yesterday. It was very nicely done.’ 

Elsewhere in the show, fans were sent wild as the latest episode ended on a nail-biting cliffhanger as Kate and Ryan were locked in a showdown.

After viewers learnt that Joanne Davidson, played by Kelly Macdonald, was related to gangster Tommy Hunter, the fifth episode ended with Vicky McClure’s character Kate Fleming in a tense showdown with Ryan Pilkington, played by Gregory Piper.

Soon after the show aired, Twitter was flooded with wild reaction from fans, who demanded bosses show the next episode now, as the suspense was too much to wait another week to see the outcome of the shoot off. 

Line Of Stress! Elsewhere, Line Of Duty fans were sent wild on Sunday evening as the latest episode ended on a nail-biting cliffhanger as Kate and Ryan were locked in a showdown

Line Of Stress! Elsewhere, Line Of Duty fans were sent wild on Sunday evening as the latest episode ended on a nail-biting cliffhanger as Kate and Ryan were locked in a showdown

Fans were left reeling after fan favourite Ted Hastings, played by Adrian Dunbar, tipped as being the elusive H again, and Ryan left in a standoff with DI Kate. 

In typical AC-12 style, a twist emerged in the form of a throwback clue to the 2019 series showing the word definitely misspelt as ‘definately’ in Jo Davidson’s messages – a clue that previously suggested Hastings could be one of the bent coppers he is so hellbent on finding.

Although fans were already reeling with the twist, the show ended with shock, with the tense cliffhanger seeing PC Pilkington drawing his gun at DI Fleming. 

In the closing moments, Kate – a goodie (at least we hope) – and PC Ryan – a baddie through and through – are seen with their guns trained on each other. 

Wah! After viewers learnt that Joanne Davidson, played by Kelly Macdonald, was related to gangster Tommy Hunter, the fifth episode ended with Vicky McClure's character Kate Fleming in a tense showdown with Ryan Pilkington, played by Gregory Piper

Wah! After viewers learnt that Joanne Davidson, played by Kelly Macdonald, was related to gangster Tommy Hunter, the fifth episode ended with Vicky McClure’s character Kate Fleming in a tense showdown with Ryan Pilkington, played by Gregory Piper

Look what you've caused: Davidson seemed genuinely distraught when she thought Kate could be shot, however it was her messages that got her in the position

Look what you’ve caused: Davidson seemed genuinely distraught when she thought Kate could be shot, however it was her messages that got her in the position 

Nail-biting: Soon after the show aired, Twitter was flooded with wild reaction from fans, who demanded bosses show the next episode now, as the suspense was too much to wait another week to see the outcome of the shoot off

Nail-biting: Soon after the show aired, Twitter was flooded with wild reaction from fans, who demanded bosses show the next episode now, as the suspense was too much to wait another week to see the outcome of the shoot off

Leaving viewers on the edge of their seats, the episode then ended after the duo and Davidson shouted at each other to drop their guns, with two gun shots heard as the screen faded to black.  

Has Kate – whom we’ve watched snaring bent coppers over six series – been killed in the line of duty? Or has she finished off corrupt and psychopathic Pilkington? 

And if she’s only wounded, will DI Steve Arnott – Kate’s partner in crime-fighting – manage to save her? 

Kate had managed to send him a text just before the intense final scene, however it remains to be seen if he makes it to her in time to help and catch Ryan. 

What's going to happen next? Fans soon flooded social media in both shock and outrage

What’s going to happen next? Fans soon flooded social media in both shock and outrage

Fans soon flooded social media in both shock and outrage.

Viewers penned: ‘The whole of the U.K. right now after another cliffhanger #LineOfDuty… I mean, that cliffhanger is next level. But honestly, this was my fave part #LineOfDuty… #LineOfDuty another cliffhanger… 

‘I’m fuming after that Line Of Duty cliffhanger…was Kate able to get Jo an almond croissant???!… When #LineofDuty leaves us on another cliffhanger… The Line of Duty producers leaving the episode of that cliffhanger #LineofDuty… 

‘Having to wait a week after that cliffhanger #lineofduty…  Ummm. Excuse me. I’m going to need the next episode of that now. That is a cliffhanger. And my mouth does not know how to close. #LineOfDuty… 

Is she alive? Leaving viewers on the edge of their seats, the episode then ended after the duo and Davidson shouted at each other to drop their guns, with two gun shots heard as the screen faded to black

Is she alive? Leaving viewers on the edge of their seats, the episode then ended after the duo and Davidson shouted at each other to drop their guns, with two gun shots heard as the screen faded to black

‘I’m in NYC watching every episode. Just finished tonight’s cliffhanger. You must be a ‘creative internet user’. ie seek and ye shall find. #LineOfDuty #lineofdutyday… Another Line of Duty cliffhanger I can’t take it anymore Robbie… 

‘another week of ‘line of duty’, another week of a cliffhanger… So I just watched last nights @Line_of_duty And yet again it’s ended on a cliffhanger (of course) what an episode honestly absolutely brilliant acting PS; I hope Kate doesn’t die… 

”Mother of God’, I don’t think I can take another week waiting on the outcome of yet another cliffhanger literally heart pounding out of my chest at the end of episode 4 and 5… 

”Mother of God’, I don’t think I can take another week waiting on the outcome of yet another cliffhanger for literally heart pounding out of my chest at the end of episode 4 and 5 of #LineofDuty6 Whilst I’m here…Patricia Carmichael for H”. 

What's next? Although fans were already reeling with the twist, the show ended with shock, with the tense cliffhanger seeing PC Pilkington drawing his gun at DI Fleming

What’s next? Although fans were already reeling with the twist, the show ended with shock, with the tense cliffhanger seeing PC Pilkington drawing his gun at DI Fleming

LINE OF DUTY SEASON SIX: WHAT ARE THE MAIN FAN THEORIES?

Season six of Line Of Duty has left fans with more questions than answers, with viewers flocking to Twitter to question what exactly is DCI Jo Davidson is up to, whether Kate Fleming has really left AC-12 and who is H?

Here, MailOnline examines some of the most prominent fan theories  

Kate Fleming HASN’T left AC-12 and is working undercover   

One of the most shocking discoveries was AC-12’s Kate is now working with a new team- with some fans suggesting she could even be the infamous H.

While chatting to her new gaffer DCI Davidson, Kate said: ‘I got fed upon nicking coppers, I’d rather go after the psycho who murdered Gail [Vella].’

But despite seeming confident in her new role, some viewers were left wondering if all was at it seems and theorised that Kate could still be undercover for AC-12.

Even after she tipped off Davidson and incurred the wrath of Ted Hastings, fans have continued to speculate that she is so deep undercover that even Hastings is having to keep her true agenda secret.  

Kate Fleming HASN'T left AC-12 and is working undercover: Is it true? The jury is still out on this one

Kate Fleming HASN’T left AC-12 and is working undercover: Is it true? The jury is still out on this one 

DCI Jo Davidson is being blackmailed by an Organised Crime Group  

Jo has already survived a grilling from AC-12’s top team and appeared to clear her name when it was ex-girlfriend PS Farida Jatri who seemed to have taken part in corruption.

However, Jo was seen hitching a ride with known bent copper Ryan Pilkington and taken to collect a burner phone, making her look suspicious once more.

Fans, however, are convinced the DCI is being blackmailed by an OCG, following her emotional outburst when she was summoned to pick up a new burner.

DCI Jo Davidson is being blackmailed by an Organised Crime Group: Is it true? After her car park outburst it seems increasingly likely

DCI Jo Davidson is being blackmailed by an Organised Crime Group: Is it true? After her car park outburst it seems increasingly likely

DCI Jo Davidson’s mother is Anne-Marie McGillis

Fans speculated over who Jo’s mother could be after she was seen in a photograph in the first episode.

Many theorised her mother has something to do with season five character John Corbett’s [Stephen Graham] mother Anne-Marie McGillis, who was killed by an Irish Republican paramilitary group sometime after 1989.

DCI Jo Davidson's mother is Anne-Marie McGillis: Is it true? There simply isn't enough evidence yet to determine on way or the other

DCI Jo Davidson’s mother is Anne-Marie McGillis: Is it true? There simply isn’t enough evidence yet to determine on way or the other  

Gail Vella is still alive

Although season six has centered around the murder of journalist Gail Vella, one obscure theory is that she is in fact still alive.  

Craig Parkinson, who played Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan in the show, said on BBC Sounds podcast Obsessed with Line of Duty: ‘Somebody is in that flat and there’s some connection with Gail Vella, the investigative journalist.

‘You don’t cast someone like Andi Osho and then just have her as little magazine prints and stick them up on a kitchen wall.’

Sarah Millican – who also appeared on the podcast – went on to suggest Vella may have been a former lover of DCI Davidson’s.

Gail Vella is still alive: Is it true? It seems unlikely that the scale of police corruption is so huge that they could fake a murder victim

Gail Vella is still alive: Is it true? It seems unlikely that the scale of police corruption is so huge that they could fake a murder victim

DC Chloe Bishop is Tony Gates’ daughter

Bishop is one of AC-12’s newest recruits, and as Gates and his wife Jools had two daughters, Natalie and Chloe, viewers have suggested their shared first name ‘can’t be a coincidence’.

Gates’ daughter was last seen in season one in 2012, which means she’d be roughly the same age as Bishop is now.

Fans have suggested that Bishop either took her mother’s maiden name or the name of a step-father, so that her true identity remains a secret – for now.

Gates died at the end of the first season when he walked into a busy road after getting a confession from gang leader Tommy Hunter, who had been blackmailing the police officer into covering up their criminal activity.

DC Chloe Bishop is Tony Gates' daughter: Is it true? The dates and facts line up, but there still isn't enough to write it off as a coincidence just yet

DC Chloe Bishop is Tony Gates’ daughter: Is it true? The dates and facts line up, but there still isn’t enough to write it off as a coincidence just yet 

DCI Jo Davidson’s mystery blood relative is…?

After it was revealed that Jo’s DNA matched someone on the Police National Computer, fans theorized who that could be.

The overriding theories suggested that Davidson’s relative was either Tommy Hunter, of series one and two, Mike Dryden of series two, John Corbett of series five, or Derek Hilton, killed off in series four.

Tommy Hunter was the leader of the OCG in earlier series of the show, and a paedophile. His character is dead.

Mike Dryden, the former Deputy Chief Constable, was last seen resigning from his post for perverting the course of justice in series two. His Scottish links also suggest he could be related to Davidson.

John Corbett was an undercover cop in series five who had his throat slit, leaving behind a wife, two daughters, and a mysterious link to a woman, Anne-Marie, whom fans claim could also be Davidson’s mother.

Derek Hilton was a Chief Superintendent and later the Assistant Chief Constable of Central Police. He was also secretly affiliated with organised crime. He was shot in the mouth in a staged suicide in season four.

Other suggestions were Gill Biggeloe, Jackie Laverty, Lindsay Denton or Terry Boyle. 

After it was revealed that Jo's DNA matched someone on the Police National Computer, fans theorized who that could be. Scottish Mike Dryden was last seen resigning from his post for perverting the course of justice in series two

After it was revealed that Jo’s DNA matched someone on the Police National Computer, fans theorized who that could be. Scottish Mike Dryden was last seen resigning from his post for perverting the course of justice in series two



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