Racist stereotypes used in police training

Racist stereotypes used in police training
Police talk to youths in Rosengård during December unrest
"Neger Niggersson" and "Oskar Neger" (Negro). Two names used by Skåne police in their internal training. A participating officer reported the incident to senior officers but no inquiry was launched.

According to local newspaper Sydsvenskan a course in sequestration was held for around fifty staff at the county police department in Malmö in the spring of 2008.

The instructor displayed the names to be used in the course on a screen. Among them were “Neger Niggersson” and “Oskar Neger”.

Several participants reacted to the use of the names.

“I could not believe what I was seeing, but I felt sorry for the instructor so I waited until afterwards,” said Jeanette Larsson, a police inspector with the department’s intelligence service, to Sydsvenskan.

The newspaper reports that several of the participating staff reported the incident all the way to the top. But Lars-Folke Piledahl, then assistant county police commissioner, denies all knowledge of the incident.

The newspaper has however published an email which confirms that he had been informed.

County police commissioner Eva Årestad Radner also claims to be in the dark despite Jeanette Larsson’s email having been sent to several senior officers. Christina Wadsten Malm confirms that she received the email.

“If I receive information about such an occurrence then I report it immediately. Then I inform the commissioner or assistant commissioner. If they were not in the office then I did so over the telephone. That I am certain of. I initiated a report to the internal affairs department,” she says.

But such a report does not exist, according to Kaisy Nordin, head of the internal affairs department.

Årestad Radner could not offer any explanation as to why internal affairs was not notified.

“Normally a report would be made to the internal affairs department, but sometimes the person is confronted directly instead,” she said.

On Friday afternoon the chief prosecutor Björn Ericsson decided against pressing charges against three Skåne police officers recorded on a police video making racist and threatening comments during the unrest in the Malmö suburb of Rosengård in December.

The police dialogue in the film has caused a great deal of debate in the Swedish media and soul searching within the Swedish police, but is not criminal Ericsson has ruled.

“I have received details of the situation in which the police officers expressed themselves, and have quite simply found that what has occurred is neither misconduct nor any other offence,” Ericsson said on Friday afternoon.