I wrote a tweet on Tuesday, saying how much I missed My Mum. This was because, on this day and the following I couldn’t stop myself from crying.
The last time I can remember being so inconsolable, was when I was diagnosed with depression due to discrimination within the police back in 2009.
And, as you may have guessed I’m no longer afraid to admit this – although initially, it was humiliating and embarrassing.
This is because, I genuinely hope and believe that things within the Metropolitan Police will change so that others whoever they may be do not suffer like I have and continue to do so – for, four years now.
Scotland Yard is incapable of learning from the experiences of mine, or indeed many others who have been mistreated because of their race and/or sexuality.
It is a disgrace, and there’s no other word to describe it.
I´ve never been one for sensationalism, hence the reason I have never given an interview about my treatment at the hands of the Police Commissioner and his officers.
However, what I do know is that the Met Police is a public organisation and the Commissioner a public servant – accountable, to the people. All, the people.
Strangely and in many ways perversely, the shaming and embarrassing of such detrimental and devastating experiences of mixed-race black and/or gay people like myself who have suffered along with a mental disability because of hate within the MPS – appears, the only way to bring about change via the Court of Public Opinion.
The reason I have uncontrollably sobbed so much this past week is because of all that has happened to me, at the hands of the Metropolitan Police Service.
There is no other way to say it. And, I don’t write this as a victim or narcissist. It is now 2013.
What did I do so wrong? Try to highlight discrimination within Scotland Yard in 2009, after becoming unwell.
My only crime:
- I told my seniors I was ill
- I told them I had experienced racism, homophobia and bullying
- My salary was then stopped
- My private data (sexuality, mental illness and sensitive counter terrorism intelligence role) was then leaked to The Sun newspaper, to try to discredit me and stop my complaints of discrimination
- I then became further unwell, and suffered further mistreatment
- I got into financial difficulty, because my pay had been stopped and I had to claim state benefits whilst having to keep up my mortgage and other responsibilities
- My relationship started to suffer
- My mental health continued to suffer
- I attended a six-week Employment Tribunal, the lone Police Officer facing 30-plus of my colleagues – who, gave evidence against me
- The employment court made its ruling, stating I had been directly discriminated against, harassed and victimised on the grounds of my race and sexuality and that the Met DID leak my private data to News Corp – owned by Rupert Murdoch
- The Commissioner then appealed the judgment
- I then find out The Sun journalist made two payments to the person(s), who illegally gave it my personal information
- The Commissioner then dismisses ‘me’, not once but twice – for apparently, undermining public confidence and discrediting the service
- Alex my partner and husband then separate, because of the immense pressure we were under
- And finally this week culminating in, the lost of my home and having to move out of it with Alex – us, going our separate ways.
That’s just the stuff I can remember.
What did I do so bad… did I steal? Did I assault somebody? Was I abusive to somebody? No.
I was a detective with an exemplary record, within Special Branch. I´ve never professed to be perfect or able to walk on water, but I took The Office of Constable seriously with professionalism and integrity.
Up until my illness, I had never taken a single days sickness (that was 7-years), had never been subject to disciplinary procedures or performance related objectives.
Yet, I raise discrimination within the Met Police and I am then subject to all three. You can’t make these things up, and this is the reason I have written a memoir of my experiences – in my own words.
To raise awareness of the discrimination that takes place, and help to remove the stigma of equality.
Many people from top to bottom of the Met have had their hand in my demise with their own personal motives, and this is why the Force IS ‘institutional’ – a body of people, acting singly or jointly within the safety of the institution to the detriment of black and/or gay people like me.
My memoir ‘Broken‘ looks at my experiences, but also touches upon the only way I as someone with credibility having served as an officer in two Forces can see the Police Service changing for the better.
I wasn’t a Chief Officer removed from day-to-day policing, but a detective on the ground having served in the Greater Manchester Police and Metropolitan Police on the frontline with strategic experiences.
As the Police Service stands now, I would NOT encourage another black and/or gay person to join – for the sake of their mental health. And this would particularly include, any of my nieces or nephews.
This is sad because, this comes from a man who served over a decade as an officer and dreamt of becoming a Policeman from the age of 5.
I had served my country well, and was as British as most with many professional, voluntary and community achievements including visits to Buckingham Palace for recognition – based, on merit.
There was one problem though… I really was never ‘one of them’, and was never going to be.
As a white-looking friend with a minority ethnic background told me recently, he may look like ‘them’ but he is culturally different, yet I do not look like them but culturally am exactly the same.
Every aspect of my life has been British, from my birth in Liverpool through to all my schooling, my decade of voluntary service with St John Ambulance, my service with the Air Training Corps (Royal Air Force Youth Wing) and decade as a public servant with the Police Service in Manchester and London.
Was I proud to be British? Yes. Am I proud to be British. No.
The Met Police have single-handily destroyed everything I knew and had, and I do not write this lightly or for dramatic purposes.
I am vocal passionately because, I honestly and genuinely believe that institutions like the Met have to change and not just on paper to appease politicians.
I have the same rights as every other British person, to be treated fairly and equally under the law – wether or not, they like that I am gay and/or mixed race.
I don’t want to mince my words but the Commissioner in his actions which still continue some 4-years on, has been vicious towards me. Why do I write about this on my blog? So that, we all play our part to change things.
The people should hold the power, not the police, press or politicians.
No one can say my challenging the Met has not been done properly either, or not under the law. But, I can really see how minorities like myself and indeed the majority lose or have no belief in the notion of justice.
Mainly because, it often isn’t fair and some are allowed to abuse it.
My biggest regret of Fighting for Justice against the Metropolitan Police Service and now News Group (the owners of The Sun newspaper), will always be losing Alex – the man, I loved.
The Met may have this week made me homeless and destroyed my relationship, but I know in time it will make me stronger and I will be judged in the end like the Commissioner on what I have done and haven’t.
Do I regret fighting racism, homophobia and bullying within the police? No. Would I do it again? Yes. Because, it was and is the right thing to do.
Has my losing everything, been Fair Game? Well, that’s for you the public to decide if what I stood up for and how I have been treated because of it has been fair.
I may keep on getting knocked down, but I´ll always keep on getting back up. Because, it´s true that, ‘what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’.
Equally, I´m not naïve enough to think that… if you play with fire, you get burned.
This has been a… never giving up, ‘View from the Bottom’.
Take care, Max x.
Live Healthy, Laugh Often & Love Yourself!
Published by My Mum. Copyright © Kevin Maxwell Film, Media & Performance 2013.