The installation in Windrush Square has been organised and funded by Lambeth Council in partnership with the Groce family and Adjaye Associates and has received significant contributions from both the local business community and the public at large.
Cherry was shot in front of her children at her house in Brixton and was left paralysed by the attack, suffering ill health and needing 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 has written movingly about the shooting and the impact of the Met Police’s action on his life, on his mother’s life and the whole community. Mr Lawrence won the Costa biography award in January this year for the memoir, The Louder I Will Sing.
Mr Lawrence said: “The injustice done to my mother on the 28th September 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. 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.”
The Cherry Groce Memorial is scheduled to be officially unveiled in Windrush Square with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the end of April to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the passing of Cherry Groce.