Born in Lewisham, London, on 27 September 1974, Brooks grew up in Deptford and attended Blackheath Bluecoat Church of England School in Charlton. In 1991 he went to study engineering at Woolwich College and at Lewisham College a year later.
Murder of Stephen Lawrence
Brooks was with Stephen Lawrence when he was murdered on 22 April 1993. The murder led to an inquiry headed by Sir William Macpherson which concluded that the Metropolitan Police Force was “institutionally racist” and which contributed to the passing of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which altered the double jeopardy law.
Brooks was arrested after allegations that he was involved in a scuffle during an anti-racist march outside the fascist British National Party headquarters in Welling days after the murder. Although charged, the judge dismissed the case against Brooks.
It was revealed on 24 June 2013, in a Channel 4 TV programme, that the Special Demonstrations Squad, an undercover police unit, had been set to discover any incriminating details about members of the Justice for Stephen Lawrence campaign. These included his parents and friends. The allegations against Brooks subsequently appeared.
In February 2009, Brooks became a Councillor for the Liberal Democrats in the London Borough of Lewisham following a by-election in the Downham Ward. Later that year, he was elected onto the Safer Communities Board at the Local Government Group as Lead Member for the Liberal Democrats.
In autumn 2010, Brooks was named among the potential candidates for the London mayoral election, 2012 but the selection process was deferred for twelve months and Brooks was not on the final shortlist. He failed to get approved candidate status to stand as a GLA candidate. However, he was part of the team around the eventual Liberal Democrat Mayoral candidate, Brian Paddick, as proposed Deputy for Youth and Communities.
- Adams, Tim (6 April 2003). "I just want to be free of Steve". 6 April 2003 (London: The Guardian News). Retrieved 6 January 2011.
- Brooks, Brooks, Steve and Me: My friendship with Stephen Lawrence, BrooksBooks, 2006
- Stephen Wright, "Two men convicted of notorious UK race murder in landmark conviction after 18 years", The Daily Mail, 4 January 2012.
- Tom Symonds, "Police 'spied on' Stephen Lawrence family, says Guardian newspaper", BBC News, 24 June 2013.
- "Stephen Lawrence family 'targeted in police smear campaign'", 4 News, 24 June 2013.
- Bannerman, Lucy. "Duwayne Brooks, friend of Stephen Lawrence, goes into politics". 17 February 2009. The Times. Retrieved 6 January 2011.
- "Downham Ward by-election results 19 February 2009". Lewisham.gov.uk. 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
- "LGA Safer and Stronger Communities Board Member Profile". Lga.gov.uk. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
- "Downham Ward Election results 6 May 2010". Lewisham.gov.uk. 2010-05-06. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
- "Stephen Lawrence friend may run for mayor of London", BBC News, London, 21 September 2010. Retrieved on 04-01-2011.
- "Lib-Dem failure to find candidate puts party out of mayoral race for year". Thisislondon.co.uk. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "We need to get behind Brian Paddick and our London candidates now", by Chris Rennard, London Liberal Democrats election communication, 13 April 2012
- "The Men Who Would Be Mayor of Lewisham". 2013-12-17. Retrieved 2014-02-03.