Victoria Police have issued an apology for the “terrible” treatment of officer Michael Maynes, who resigned and subsequently died by suicide after homophobic harassment by colleagues.
Maynes was a police officer between 2008 and 2011, dying in 2014.
Following his death three and a half years after leaving the police, a police and coronial investigation was opened into the harassment he had experienced.
The investigation heard the Maynes was subjected to daily derogatory comments and slurs.
The coronial investigation did not directly link Maynes’ suicide to the bullying, but found he was subjected to “unwarranted and inappropriate comments and behaviours by certain members of Victoria Police”.
“He was treated terribly,” said Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius.
“He was the subject of homophobic behaviour that was back then and is now completely unacceptable.
“We are deeply sorry.”
Maynes’ father Robert believes his son’s treatment at work contributed to his mental health issues, methamphetamine use and death.
“The police force started the ball rolling. They started it,” he said.
“Michael was never on drugs, never had an issue until he joined the police force and it just snowballed.”
Robert said his son had “absolutely loved” being a police officer.
“But it became torture,” he said.
“It was just torture for him every day going to work.”
Assistant Commissioner Cornelius said some police in Victoria still had “jaundiced and inappropriate” views about LGBTI people in the police and in the community.
“We have an absolute commitment to being very clear to our workforce at large that these behaviours won’t be tolerated and these people will be held to account,” he said.
“There is no place for them in Victoria Police.”
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