The officer’s superiors fear giving the gang of youths the finger could have jeopardized months of patient work to develop positive relations with local residents in the troubled suburb, according to local newspaper Sydsvenskan.
The incident occurred on Friday when two off-duty police officers visited Skåne police department’s station in the Herrgården area of Rosengård.
When the officers left the area by motorbike they passed a gang of youths who had assembled on the other side of the road. The police officer then proceeded to wave his middle finger in a provocative gesture.
The officer’s gesture was witnessed by several of his colleagues at the scene.
“It is indefensible. A police officer just does not behave like that. We have a sensitive situation in Rosengård where we have worked hard over an extended period of time to develop positive relations with residents. There is now a risk that this process has been set back,” said senior police officer Bengt-Åke Malm to the newspaper.
The police officer concerned has now been re-assigned to an internal post and has been reported.
The accompanying officer has been removed from service in Rosengård to avoid the risk of provocation.