Swedish man dies after police intervention

A 21-year-old man died in hospital in central Sweden on Tuesday as a result of injuries sustained in a police intervention on Saturday evening.

Police are currently investigating the incident, which took place in Karlstad.

“In conducting the intervention, we were forced to use some force to subdue him,” Värmland police spokesman Tommy Lindh told news agency TT on Thursday.

According to newspaper Aftonbladet, the man was forced down onto his stomach during the intervention over the weekend. On the way to the hospital, his heart stopped. On Tuesday, the man died of injuries caused by the cardiac arrest.

“The man was taken into custody because he was disturbed and posed a danger both to himself and others. He was very agitated and violent,” added Lindh.

According to Lindh, the man had not attacked anyone, and that he was mainly trying to harm himself. However, he declined to divulge further details about the incident.

“There is an ongoing internal investigation,” he explained.

According to the Aftonbladet daily, the man lay on his stomach in police bus. Police would not comment on the newspaper’s claims, citing its own preliminary investigation.

The man was taken to hospital where he later died. Lindh declined to disclose exactly when the man died.

“We received information from the hospital yesterday [Wednesday] that he had died,” he said.

The internal inquiry, conducted by police in Västerås, is headed by prosecutors in Gothenburg.

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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.