Peter Tatchell, an advocate for LGBT+ rights, has received an apology from the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Mark Rowley, for the homophobic inadequacies of the force.
In his letter, Sir Mark expressed his regret to each of the communities that had been mistreated by our organization, which Mr. Tatchell saw as a revolutionary step forward. In March, Baroness Casey released a damning assessment that showed there was racism, misogyny, and homophobia in the Metropolitan Police Department (Met Police).
According to Mr. Tatchell, the apology puts an end to any previous persecution by the Met. It occurred on the same day that a campaign was launched by the Peter Tatchell Foundation in the United Kingdom demanding an apology from every chief of police in the country for the "decades-long victimization" of the LGBT+ community.
In his letter, Sir Mark stated that he accepted that it had systems and processes in place that had led to bias and discrimination in the way that they have policed the communities of London and in the way that they treated their officers and employees over the course of many decades. He also admitted that he accepted that it had these systems and processes in place.
Recent incidents of atrocious behavior by some officers have shown that there are still racists, misogynists, homophobes, and transphobes working for the organization, and we have already increased our efforts to root out those who are corrupt and abuse their position in order to get rid of them.
He added that it was evident there is much work to be done for them. He apologized to all the communities they had let down in the past and vowed to construct a new Met for London, one that all Londoners can be proud of and have faith in.
Mr. Tatchell responded by thanking Sir Mark for "being the first UK police chief to apologize" and expressing his wish that other police forces would follow suit. He added that this will encourage more LGBT+ individuals to disclose hate crimes, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Prior to his passing in March, television icon Paul O'Grady supported the #ApologiseNow campaign of his foundation.
Wednesday's launch event featured a video in which O'Grady urged the police to apologize for their frequently abusive and sometimes unlawful treatment of LGBT individuals. Since he was a youngster, Mr. Tatchell, who was born in Australia, has been active in the fight for human rights, notably advocating for the rights of Australia's Aboriginal people.
After coming to London in the 1970s, he continued his advocacy for human rights, engaging in protests against prominent figures such as boxer Mike Tyson, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey during the course of his career.
In 1999, he attempted to carry out a citizen's arrest of former Zimbabwean Prime Minister Robert Mugabe for his abuses of human rights, but Mr. Mugabe's bodyguards severely battered him and prevented him from carrying out the arrest. He has held the position of director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation since the year 2011.