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Swedish police officer disciplined for 'negro' email

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10:49 CEST+02:00
A police inspector in Landskrona in southern Sweden has been reported to the National Swedish Police Disciplinary Board (Rikspolisstyrelsens Personalansvarsnämnd) for describing a suspect as a "negro in a green military jacket".

The incident dates back to February 1st 2009 when a woman reported that she had been robbed in Landskrona by two men.

In the course of the police investigation, a police inspector since 2000 with the Skåne force and at the time group leader of Landskrona local police, sent an email in which she used the term "neger" (negro).

"On the whiteboard in the incident room there is a picture of a negro in a green military jacket," the inspector wrote according to the report.

The inspector has explained in her defence that she used the word "negro" as it was the term used by the woman who reported the robbery. The initial report of the incident however describes the suspect as "dark-skinned".

The photo was of a young man and was taken in connection with a second reported robbery. The inspector explained that she sent the email, received by around 30 colleagues, to point out that there could be a link between the two incidents.

"Who has taken the picture? Who is it? In a robbery on Sunday one of the attackers was a negro dressed in a green military jacket," the inspector wrote.

The Skåne police authority has now passed on the report to the National Police Disciplinary Board with the recommendation that the inspector be served with a warning.

The police authority writes that the offence is considered to be of a serious nature.

The authority underlines that "light-skinned", "ruddy/red-faced", "slightly dark-skinned", "dark-skinned" and "very dark-skinned" are the official appropriate terms for describing skin colour.

The inspector claims that she was not aware of the official guidelines at the time and points out that in her report of the robbery incident she used the term in quotation marks.

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