Forced Out by Kevin Maxwell
Kevin Maxwell was a dream candidate for the police force – he had a long-held desire to serve his community, a strong moral compass and a clear aptitude for both the strategic and practical aspects of policing. And, as a gay black man from a working class family, he could easily have been a poster boy for the force’s stated commitment to equal opportunities. Joining just after the 9/11 attacks, Kevin entered policing determined to keep communities safe in the face of a changing world. But instead he came up against entrenched prejudice, open racism and homophobia. For more than ten years, Kevin strove against the odds, until he took the force to an employment tribunal – with devastating results.
Forced Out is a revelatory exposé combining deeply affecting memoir with sharp analysis and a fascinating insider perspective on day-to-day life in the force. It is a touchstone for the silent many who have either tried to ignore abuse for the sake of their career or who have been bullied out of their jobs. It paints a sobering portrait of an institution that has not yet learned the lessons of the past and whose prejudice is informing the cases it chooses to investigate and the way it investigates them. And it asks the important question: what needs to change?
"One of the most compulsive books I've read in a long while. Maxwell's experiences as a black gay policeman demonstrate how far we have to go as a country when the institution created to protect us persecutes us instead. I was shocked and saddened at the systemic discrimination and corruption directed at him by his colleagues and superiors, and how they closed ranks to cover their tracks." - Bernardine Evaristo, author of Booker prizewinning Girl, Woman, Other
"Forced Out is a searing dissection of institutional racism and personal tragedy with two major UK police forces with tendrils extending into the dark world of compromat and media manipulation. Painstakingly researched and beautifully written, this is a burning, righteous book." - A. L. Kennedy
"Brave and essential, Forced Out is a shocking exposé of racism and homophobia in today's police. This courageous book pushes us to demand equality, fairness and accountability." - Peter Tatchell
"Compelling." - Gay's the Word
Imprint: Granta Books
Publication Date: 06 May 2021