Our Swedish correspondent Henrik W. has translated a news story from Sydsvenskan about the latest outrage perpetrated by the police in Malmö: a cop gave some “youths” the finger.
Henrik W. includes the following introductory note:
I’m sure many of you will think it is some sort of Onion parody. Unfortunately, it is not. In particular, the outrage and hand-wringing over this “indefensible” act of the police are interesting when considered alongside Saturday’s article about what sort of threats, violence and insults police, ambulance personnel and fire fighters have to live with in these areas. It is obvious that nobody — least of all the powers that be in the police command — demands any sort of reciprocity from the “youths” of Rosengård.
And the translation:
Police officer gave gang the finger
By Joakim Palmkvist
A off-duty police officer insulted youths in Herrgården — giving them the finger. Months of police work is in danger, according to the police command, which fears that there might be revenge acts planned. The police officer has been transferred and a police report has been filed.
HERRGÅRDEN. This Friday, in the evening, the reported policeman visited the Scanian police mobile headquarters in Rosengård — the Shell station at the Von Rosen road.
He was off-duty and wasn’t supposed to report for work until Saturday, and he arrived in the company of another off-duty colleague. The were riding the same bike.
The two officers were talking with their uniformed colleagues while a gang of young men gathered on the other side of the Ramel road. The young men are reported to have been dressed in shirts sporting the Black Cobra gang symbol.
Finally, the off-duty officers drove off and at the turn to the Admiral road one of the extended his arm and gave the gang the finger: an internationally recognized gesture most easily interpreted as “f**k off”. The gesture was witnessed by the other policemen.
“I can confirm that we have filed a report about this gesture,” says regional police commander Lars Rosberg to Sydsvenskan.
“It’s so terribly stupid given all the time and all the money we’ve spent out there. And given how many who have worked so hard.”
The police man left a gang of upset and angry youths. According to duty chief Bengt-Åke Malm it was still fortunate that it happened out in the open, so that on-duty officers at the spot could calm the feelings immediately.
“Those who were out there did a commendable work at calming the situation down,” he says.
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“It stayed calm over Friday; we hope the situation will continue to be peaceful.”
“What do you think about the actions of the police officer?”
“It’s indefensible. You… you simply don’t act that way as a policeman. We have a sensitive situation in Rosengård where we’ve worked hard for a long time to establish good relations with the inhabitants. Now this process is at risk to suffer significant setbacks.”
When he arrived for duty the police officer found himself transferred at the order of the high police command of Malmö.
“Given the problems we’ve had in the area we wanted to minimize the risks of unrest and so we’ve pulled him off the streets,” he says.
“The other officer on the motorcycle has been transferred from the Rosengård command, to avoid the risk of provocation.”
The Scanian force has suffered credibility problems earlier, given statements during the Rosengård riots in December 2008.
The slur “devil monkey” has been examined twice by the public persecutor, who arrived at the conclusion that it was not actionable on account of having been spoken in front of just a few people.
In this case, there is no assumed racist motive by the officer involved. The transferred officer has a foreign background himself.