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Dorothy Groce Shooting Sparked The 1985 Brixton Riots



Dorothy ‘Cherry’ Groce was shot by Metropolitan police in her home in Brixton during a raid in search for one his son in 1985.

The 1985 Brixton riots were sparked by the shooting of a black woman called Dorothy “Cherry” Groce. she survived but was bound to a wheelchair for the rest her life. Dorothy Grace died in April 2011 having spent 26 years in a wheelchair.

On the morning of Saturday 28 September 1985, a group of police officers raided Cherry Groce’s house on Normandy Road, Brixton, including an armed CID officer, searching for suspected armed robber Michael Groce.

Dorothy Grace Death

On her arrival at hospital, surgeons found that the bullet had penetrated Mrs Groce’s lung and exited through her spine, paralyzing her from the waist downwards.

She was hospitalized for over a year, and in hospital-based rehabilitation for a further year; friends within the local community looked after her children. With Mrs Groce permanently paralyzed and only able to get around in a wheelchair, and after further rehabilitation, she and her family were allocated a new bungalow in which to live.

The police officer who shot Mrs Groce, Detective Inspector Douglas Lovelock, was prosecuted but eventually acquitted of malicious wounding. Mrs Groce later received over £500,000 in compensation from the Metropolitan Police, but with no admission of liability.

In 2011, Mrs Groce contracted an infection which led to kidney failure. She was treated at King’s College Hospital, but she died on Easter Sunday, and was buried in May 2011.

Mrs Groce was in bed, whilst three of her six children were in residence when the police entered the house with force. During the raid, Mrs Groce was shot in the chest; after an extensive search, the police did not find Michael Groce. An ambulance was called, and by the time it had arrived a small crowd had gathered outside the house. Mrs Groce was taken to St Thomas’ Hospital in central London.

Metropolitan police apology for shooting Dorothy ‘Cherry’ Groce

The Metropolitan police in 2014 publicly apologised for the shooting of a south London mother in 1985.

Scotland Yard said in a statement that a senior officer met one of her sons in July last year. “He also took the opportunity to apologise for the shooting of Mrs Groce in 1985,” the statement said.

Commander Neil Basu, the police officer involved in the meeting, said: “There is no doubt that the Met were responsible for the injuries to Mrs Groce in 1985, and it is only right that her family receives an apology. I am happy to for it to be known publicly that I met with her son in July last year and offered him and his family an apology on behalf of the Metropolitan police service.”

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