For those of you who have followed my story, you will know that for the past five years I have fought racism, homophobia and corruption within London’s Metropolitan Police.
I’ve been through three trials, and things are far from over.
During this Black History Month in the UK, I’ve had time to reflect. For over half a decade, I’ve put my heart and soul into something I genuinely believe in – justice and equality – and not only for my rights but the rights of others too. As an uncle to many, I am always mindful of the standards I am setting for my nieces and nephews.
All workplaces in a democracy anyway, should be free from discrimination with those who are black and/or gay including women and the disabled allowed to work in an environment that is not a detriment to their health and well-being.
The first employment court in my set of cases ruled that the Metropolitan Police had directly discriminated, harassed and victimised me because of my race as a mixed-race black man and sexuality as an out gay man no less than 40 times, and that the Police Commissioner leaked my private data to The Sun newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch in an attempt to discredit me and stop me from pursuing my rights for justice.
In 2013 after an appeal of the judgment by the police, a High Court Judge sitting at the employment appeal court upheld my complaints and dismissed the Commissioner’s appeal.
Prior to the appeal, I had resigned my office as a police officer as I knew I had crossed the line in challenging discrimination and corruption within Scotland Yard and that they would never forgive me. They didn’t.
However, the Commissioner reinstated me after my resignation against my will and then dismissed me.
An act of revenge.
The past half of decade has given me lots to think about, my life; past, present and future.
I have naturally questioned whether I had done the right thing in fighting discrimination and corruption, and the costs to me personally – the loss of my career, home and marriage. And, would I do it again?
When I transferred from the Greater Manchester Police Criminal Investigation Department to Special Branch at the Metropolitan Police, I clearly wasn’t looking for a fight. I’d hoped that given my background as a detective this merit together with my race and sexuality would allow me to flourish in a world city, that is truly diverse.
It wasn’t meant to be though.
People often ask me about my views of the Met. Many of them have been documented by the press through the trials spanning the years, but those not subject to the public hearings I talk about in my forthcoming memoir.
It’s a non-sensational account of my decade of fighting crime and terrorism as a police officer, and my fight against discrimination and corruption within the police.
As an institution, is the Met racist? Without a doubt.
Is it homophobic, without a doubt.
Is corruption a problem, without a doubt.
Are there good officers, of course.
But, as I have often stated … when you put a bad apple into a bag of good ones, it can rot the lot. I’m yet to know of a good apple, turning the bad into good?
I’m of the firm belief, that the courts need to send out a clear message to employers that minorities have rights.
I have served my country since the age of ten in the cadet forces right through to adulthood, for over two decades. Am I going to stand up for myself when my race and sexuality is challenged, of course I am.
It’s a right I’ve earned.
It’s a right others had died for, so that I can benefit.
On a last point, the Commissioner in defending the action against me said that I was a threat to the “National Security” of the United Kingdom. Words, that are being used by the Prime Minister in these testing times.
When we start using these words against people like myself who have literally given blood, sweat and tears for their country, it undermines the real pursuit of those who threaten Britain. Most, will not defend themselves when up against the might of such an organisation as the Metropolitan Police. Luckily, I’m not like most.
For me, no man or organisation is beyond reproach.
Sometimes, those at the top of the establishment need reminding of this.
There is not one rule for me as a minority, and another for the majority.
I’m determined to put right, the wrongs. However, I am equally determined to do this within the law.
I am testing whether the law of my country actually works for people like me, for which they are meant to.
I’m all for Black History Month, but I’m more for the present.
See you on the other side.
Take care, Max.