Skåne police shooting ‘a scandal’

A neighbour has expressed outrage after police shot and killed a deranged man in a cabin in Trelleborg in southern Sweden early Monday morning.

Skåne police shooting 'a scandal'

“This whole thing is a goddamn scandal, really. There was absolutely no damn reason to shoot him. He should have been hospitalized!” a neighbour of the victim told the TT news agency.

The 57-year-old man had threatened police with “a rather sizeable knife” when they arrived at the cabin where the man lived by himself, according to Skåne County police.

“It happened within seconds,” police spokesperson Ewa-Gun Westford told TT.

Police had been dispatched to the cabin after the man called Skåne emergency services at 8.30pm on Sunday evening complaining that he was tired of living and was armed with a gun.

Authorities had had previous dealings with the man, who they believed to be mentally ill.

The man reportedly moved into the neighbourhood in May of last year.

The man’s neighbour told TT news that the man suffered from terror and fear on a daily basis.

“He’s made threats, even murder threats. It’s been a real circus here, with the police and ambulance here almost every week,” he said.

The operator who took the call continued to talk to the man for some time but in the end decided to pass the call on to police.

Judging the incident to be “for real”, police decided to send several officers out to the man’s cabin near Trelleborg.

When police arrived shortly after 1am on Monday morning, they determined the man didn’t have a gun, but instead was sitting inside with several knives.

Two officers tested the outer door of the cabin and found it unlocked and then entered the cabin.

According to Westford, police didn’t have time to use other measures such as pepper spray or teargas to stop the man.

“The man came storming at them with a knife in his hands when a couple of officers entered his cabin. The police ordered him to put it down but instead he continued toward them,” she said.

“Then they opened fire. They fired three shots in rapid succession and the man fell to the cabin floor.”

Westford confirmed there were no other witnesses to the shooting other than the police.

While police attempted to resuscitate the man while waiting for an ambulance, their efforts were in vain.

“A doctor who arrived on the scene said the man died instantly,” said Westford.

The man’s neighbour is outraged that the police ended up shooting and killing the man.

“They knew how he was, so I don’t understand why they went in there,” he told TT.


Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

The chairwoman of the Police Association West Region has said that police special tactics, known as Särskild polistaktik or SPT, should be available across Sweden, to use in demonstrations similar to those during the Easter weekend.

Calls for special police tactics to be available across Sweden

SPT, (Särskild polistaktik), is a tactic where the police work with communication rather than physical measures to reduce the risk of conflicts during events like demonstrations.

Tactics include knowledge about how social movements function and how crowds act, as well as understanding how individuals and groups act in a given situation. Police may attempt to engage in collaboration and trust building, which they are specially trained to do.

Katharina von Sydow, chairwoman of the Police Association West Region, told Swedish Radio P4 West that the concept should exist throughout the country.

“We have nothing to defend ourselves within 10 to 15 metres. We need tools to stop this type of violent riot without doing too much damage,” she said.

SPT is used in the West region, the South region and in Stockholm, which doesn’t cover all the places where the Easter weekend riots took place.

In the wake of the riots, police unions and the police’s chief safety representative had a meeting with the National Police Chief, Anders Tornberg, and demanded an evaluation of the police’s work. Katharina von Sydow now hopes that the tactics will be introduced everywhere.

“This concept must exist throughout the country”, she said.

During the Easter weekend around 200 people were involved in riots after a planned demonstration by anti-Muslim Danish politician Rasmus Paludan and his party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), that included the burning of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.

Police revealed on Friday that at least 104 officers were injured in counter-demonstrations that they say were hijacked by criminal gangs intent on targeting the police. 

Forty people were arrested and police are continuing to investigate the violent riots for which they admitted they were unprepared. 

Paludan’s application for another demonstration this weekend was rejected by police.

In Norway on Saturday, police used tear gas against several people during a Koran-burning demonstration after hundreds of counter-demonstrators clashed with police in the town of Sandefjord.