LONDON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- A man broke down during testimony Thursday in London's Old Bailey as he described seeing his best friend killed by white teenagers in 1993.
Duwayne Brooks, 37, came to court hours after his father died, The Guardian reported. He told the judge he wanted to testify about the death of Stephen Lawrence.
Brooks and Lawrence, both black, were 18-year-old high school students when they encountered the white group in South London in April 1993. He said they tried to run away.
"We were running, he kept asking me to tell him what was wrong as he couldn't run properly," he said. "Blood was streaming out around his neck and through his jacket."
Brooks broke off at that point, temporarily unable to continue, while Doreen Lawrence, his friend's mother, began to cry. The defendants, Gary Dobson and David Norris, sat calmly in the dock.
Dobson and Norris are the first suspects to go to trial in the case. An investigation instigated by Lawrence's family after charges were dismissed against two other men concluded in 1999 that the Metropolitan Police botched the investigation and was "institutionally racist."
After Brooks continued his testimony, he once again stopped. But he rejected offers from the prosecutor and judge to call a halt, saying he wanted to tell the story.
Brooks said he kept urging Lawrence to run and his friend kept asking him what was happening to him: "He said to me one more time; 'Duwayne', and his voice was all funny and then he fell by a tree."