Outrage over handcuffing of 12-year-old boy
The Local/dl · 6 Oct 2011, 08:09
Published: 06 Oct 2011 08:09 GMT+02:00
“Ow! My leg,” the boy can be heard screaming on the video, which was recently posted on YouTube.
The incident took place last summer at the Slussen metro station after guards were called to deal with youngsters who were reportedly riding between the rail cars of the Saltsjöbanan tram line.
When the guards met up with the 12-year-old and his friends, the situation quickly turned heated.
“I climbed between the cars, and then went in again. Then they came up and said, 'follow us, don't resist',” the boy told Sveriges Television (SVT).
“Then I looked back at my friends, and that was like, resistance, or something. Then they pushed me into a wall and then I got handcuffed. The rest is on the film.”
In the YouTube video, filmed by one of the boy's friends, the guards can be seen pressing the 12-year-old up against a window with his arms behind his back before placing him in handcuffs and wrestling him to the ground of the platform.
The guards were reported to police for professional misconduct, but the case was dropped after investigators concluded that guards acted appropriately.
“There is nothing in the film that demonstrates professional misconduct,” Britt-Marie Hackzell of the Stockholm police told the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper, adding that the boy didn't do as he was told and that the guards were dealing with a group of rowdy young people of various ages.
However, the boy's mother remains adamant that the guards acted inappropriately.
“It doesn't matter what happened before the assault,” she told SVT.
“I know my son can be difficult and cocky, but you can't act like that toward a 12-year-old.”
Jesper Pettersson, a spokesperson for public transit operator SL, which managed the contract with the security company that employed the guards in the film, admitted that the film is provocative.
“It could have been handled differently. It's part of being a security guard to be challenged, to be called names, among other things. But a guard should be able to handle that, especially when it comes from small children,” he told Aftonbladet.
In the wake of the film's release, the guards have been taken off duty pending an internal investigation.