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Author arrested for 'fake' pistol photo shoot

The Local/dl · 30 Jan 2012, 08:37

Published: 30 Jan 2012 08:37 GMT+01:00

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“It was bloody unpleasant,” author Dag Öhrlund told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

At the time of the incident, Öhrlund was posing on the streets of central Stockholm for pictures that were to be used on the cover of his new book entitled “Till minne av Charlie” ('In memory of Charlie').

In an effort to make the images more dramatic, Öhrlund was holding a replica of the Swedish police's former service weapon, a Walther pistol.

But the site of Öhrlund brandishing the weapon prompted Swedish police to approach the photo shoot with their own pistols drawn.

“They forced me and my friend to the ground. We had to lie there 20 minutes with handcuffs while police stomped on my injured back with their boots,” Öhrlund told the newspaper.

Both Öhrlund and the photographer were placed under arrest and forced to spend four hours in a holding cell at a Stockholm police station.

While Öhrlund faulted police for not releasing him as soon as they realized the gun he was holding was fake, police disputed his claims that the gun was a mere replica.

"It's not true that it was bought at a hobby shop," detective Ewa Edman told Aftonbladet.

Story continues below…

Rather, police believe the weapon was genuine, but had merely been plugged.

Öhrlund nevertheless told the newspaper he plans to report the incident to internal affairs.

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:18 January 30, 2012 by 4thGenWarrior
Seig Hiel Sverige!
15:20 January 30, 2012 by Swedishmyth
Good luck trying to sue the police for your injuries and duress. After all, who watches the watchmen?
18:57 January 30, 2012 by bobbychyldd
Come on! Common sense people. What do you expect people to do, let alone the police when a very life-like pistol is drawn in down town Stockholm? Flip the situation around! What would be the reaction if it had been a real gun? It's called being responsible. Common sense says that you need to make preparations for these things.
20:52 January 30, 2012 by Gamla Hälsingebock
That model PPK was the James Bond gun!
04:43 January 31, 2012 by MarkinBoston
If police didn't act swiftly and severely and it was a real gun, the same commenters would be demanding they be fired for not protecting the public. The police are not psychic.
14:35 January 31, 2012 by farnoxo
Most alarming of all....given that the Swedish police are all allowed to carry guns...it took them 20 minutes to figute out it was a fake gun. Does one really want people with this level of inteligence to be carrying guns in the first place!
23:02 January 31, 2012 by Bolinb
You are all idiots. Do you know how many people are robbed with "FAKE" guns every year. LOOK IT UP. And it is just as scary to the person being robbed. How many people have been terrified or hurt trying to escape some idiot waving a fake gun.Good on the police to grab some fool walking around the city with a gun. Why was this fool not smart enough to contact the police department and make arrangements to do the photo "SHOOT" through proper channels. Figuring the gun is fake is not the issue. Understanding why this man thought he could stand around in a highly populated area with a gun in the open and not have a problem is beyond me. YOU CANT TEACH STUPIDITY IT IS SOMETHING YOU ARE BORN WITH!
10:04 February 1, 2012 by Carys Egan-Wyer
@Bolinb: hear hear :-D
20:29 February 2, 2012 by Da Goat
I smell a potential Darwin award here somewhere!
15:25 February 6, 2012 by harleyrider1978
The problem here is the cops didnt bother to listen to the author about what they were doing there and confirm the guys story by checking the gun on the street. Even if it were real the gun had been fixed not to fire with a plugged barrel as the story states.

The cops could have saved themselves a lot of public embarrassment by simply observing the pistol and then hanging out til the photo shoot was over!
18:20 February 6, 2012 by jimw3416
I think what's needed here is called "more information".. How was the "gun" being held? Did the person involved in the photo-shoot (no pun intended) actually pull the gun out (mock) threateningly in a live shoot, or was he just calmly holding it still while the photographer took the picture? Did the police give any indication that they asked him or the photographer what was going on, or did they just immediately push this guy to the ground and start stomping on his back? If they did, what was the response?

Even if they *did* think it was a gun, if the police responded as quickly and "reactively" ("violently?", insert your adjective of choice here).. I'm not sure that's such a good police practice - if they guy was actually some person intent on.. I don't know what.. The police have no idea what he would do if they "set him off". This (I assume) is why when police approach a suicide jumper, they do so calmly - I am assuming that they actually *do* get that bit right in US TV cop procedural shows.. I could be wrong, but it seems like going in "guns-blazing, SWAT style" may not be a good idea when your potential criminal might be "half-cocked" (pun intended that time).
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