Gay London Cop Monitored on Grindr:: Resigns and Sues for Homophobia
A former London cop who says that his fellow officers forced him to resign is now suing the Metropolitan Police for discrimination based on racism and homophobia that he said drove him into depression to the point of becoming suicidal.
According to the Daily Mail, 36-year-old Special Branch Detective Kevin Maxwell said that fellow officers discriminated against him for years. He also said that an ex-member of Scotland Yard’s Vetting Unit told him that his social networking sites, especially Grindr, were being monitored.
"Clearly this made me feel uncomfortable," he told the Mail. "As an out gay man I was offended. I know many police officers who are gay and not necessarily ’out’ at work, who use these types of ’lawful’ social networking applications."
This isn’t Maxwell’s first time suing, either; he won a suit against the force in 2011, when he said that he was being continuously discriminated against, and senior officers who had "already made the strategic decision" to fire him. In January 2012, A Reading Employment Tribunal found that Maxwell had been subject to 41 counts of discrimination, harassment and victimization.
After the tribunal, officers allegedly commented on a police website that, "If I couldn’t hack it in the police, why didn’t I become a hairdresser or cabin crew."
Maxwell had served with the force’s Special Operations Counter Terrorism Command, but was taken off work in 2009, after being diagnosed with clinical depression. When he tried to return from sick leave in December 2011, he was told that he would need to go through additional vetting. Maxwell said that this was a breach of guidelines, and a return to the harassment he had suffered.