A story about race, identity, belonging and displacement, Kill the Black One First is the memoir from Michael Fuller - Britain's first ever black Chief Constable, whose life and career is not only a stark representation of race relations in the UK, but also a unique morality tale of how humanity deals with life's injustices.Michael Fuller was born to Windrush-generation Jamaican immigrants in 1959, and experienced a meteoric career in policing, from the beat to the Brixton inferno, through cutting edge detective work to the frontline of drug-related crime and violence on London's most volatile estates. He took a pivotal role in the formation of Operation Trident, which tackled gun crime and gang warfare in the London community, and was later appointed as chief constable of Kent.Kill the Black One First is a raw and unflinching account of a life in policing during a tumultuous period of race relations throughout the UK.

"Kill The Black One First" Details

Title"Kill The Black One First"
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 7th, 2019
Publisher535
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Race

"Kill The Black One First" Review

  • Lucy Langford
    January 1, 1970
    4****But judging someone by their colour is injustice and, instead of dealing with it, some of my fellow officers perpetuated it.This is an account of Michael Fuller, who also wrote the book, documenting his childhood and his time being a policeman for over 35 years. He explores his childhood at a children's home and how the woman who worked there, Auntie Margaret, was a strong force in developing the man he is today. He also notes how he had solved a few crimes in childhood and how this inspire 4****But judging someone by their colour is injustice and, instead of dealing with it, some of my fellow officers perpetuated it.This is an account of Michael Fuller, who also wrote the book, documenting his childhood and his time being a policeman for over 35 years. He explores his childhood at a children's home and how the woman who worked there, Auntie Margaret, was a strong force in developing the man he is today. He also notes how he had solved a few crimes in childhood and how this inspired his dream to become a police officer. At 16 Michael joined the police cadets and worked his way up to the Chief Constable of Kent and was appointed as Her Majesty's Chief Investigator at the CPS and Serious Fraud Office. His determination to achieve is seen though out the entire book.A big determining factor of this book was the exploration of race relations in the UK. Michael Fuller is black and as he found out through childhood and working for the police, the racism perpetuated by those in the police force and tensions between police officers and black members of the community, lead to feelings of isolation and feeling minor. An example is the casual dropping of "coons" in conversations among white officers, and targeting black boys and men with stop and search procedures. One of the things Michael did to overcome this was to be a founding chairman of the Black and Asian Police Association, where people of colour from the police force could come together and discuss conflicts they had faced due to their colour.While Michael was on the police force the Macpherson report was released investigating the murder and police procedure into the Stephen Lawrence murder. This confirmed to Michael and other officers who were POC that there is institutional racism in the police force, they were witnesses to it and experienced racism many times but were told they were being "too sensitive" if they decided to report it. The inquiry not only caused outrage by the British public when it was released but also confirmed to Michael and others what they already knew: institutional racism exists and was a huge problem within the police force. Overall, this book explored the tumultuous period of race relations in the UK and how it continually is shifting. It gives a glimpse into the racism experienced as a black police officer. Throughout this book it shows Michael's determination and human spirit to carry on and not break in the face of prejudice, race hate and cultural barriers.
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  • Eric Anderson
    January 1, 1970
    The title of Michael Fuller’s memoir “Kill the Black One First” is a startling statement - as it’s meant to be. This was something which was shouted by the public while he was the sole black police officer in a group of white officers trying to keep the peace during the Brixton riots in 1981 (an infamous confrontation amidst racial tension between police and protesters in South London that led to many injuries and widespread destruction.) The phrase epitomises the dire dilemma Fuller found himse The title of Michael Fuller’s memoir “Kill the Black One First” is a startling statement - as it’s meant to be. This was something which was shouted by the public while he was the sole black police officer in a group of white officers trying to keep the peace during the Brixton riots in 1981 (an infamous confrontation amidst racial tension between police and protesters in South London that led to many injuries and widespread destruction.) The phrase epitomises the dire dilemma Fuller found himself in for much of his life working for the Metropolitan Police where he was often subjected to racism from within the predominantly white police force on one side and suspicious anger from sections of the black community who labelled him “coconut” on the other. Fuller recounts his life from his beginning growing up in a care home in the 1960s to eventually being appointed the first black chief constable in the UK in 2004. This is the story of a diligent, bright and sensitive individual who cares passionately about justice. Being a good conscientious police officer was his primary motivation in life. But, because of the colour of his skin, he faced innumerable obstacles which would have deterred many from pursuing this profession or abandoning it (Fuller highlights how few black police officers made a career at the Met due to feeling so isolated.) His journey is utterly inspiring and it powerfully illuminates the dynamics of racial conflict in England over the past fifty years from someone who was in a very unique position. Read my full review of Kill the Black One First by Michael Fuller on LonesomeReader
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  • Gayle Noble
    January 1, 1970
    Michael Fuller grew up in care, and from an early age knew he wanted to join the police. Though he faced discouragement and outright opposition in some cases, Fuller went on to rise through the ranks and become the first ever black Chief Constable of Kent. This is a powerful and fascinating read. Giving a personal view of the Brixton riots, the Stephen Lawrence murder case, and Operation Trident, Fuller doesn't hold back in describing both the personal and institutional racism that he had to end Michael Fuller grew up in care, and from an early age knew he wanted to join the police. Though he faced discouragement and outright opposition in some cases, Fuller went on to rise through the ranks and become the first ever black Chief Constable of Kent. This is a powerful and fascinating read. Giving a personal view of the Brixton riots, the Stephen Lawrence murder case, and Operation Trident, Fuller doesn't hold back in describing both the personal and institutional racism that he had to endure from some of his white colleagues, and the hatred from some sections of the black community for joining the police. As the author says, he felt as if he didn't belong anywhere. Some parts of it were shocking, with the brazen displays of racism shown, and the failure of others to speak out about it. Other parts were truly uplifting. Definitely a recommended read.Thank you to NetGalley and publishers, Kings Road Publishing, for the opportunity to review an ARC.
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