When Gamal “G” Turawa retired from the Metropolitan Police in 2018, he was at the end of a decorated 25-year-career. Along way he also clocked the milestone of being the first openly gay, Black police officer – but his the early days of career paint a complicated story.
In their BAFTA-nominated documentary, The Black Cop, award-winning documentary filmmaker Cherish Oteka tells the story of G’s journey from his experience of private fostering as a young child, through to the methods he used to survive his early professional days as a police officer. He admits to lying about his sexuality and racially profiling young black men, while being the victim of racial harassment himself. It’s a story that is painful and complicated as it delves into G’s self-hatred, but also ultimately, how he came out the other side.
Cherish spoke to Black Ballad about the complications and nuances of telling this part of Black British LGBTQ+ history.