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Police teacher warned after 'monkey' comments

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Police teacher warned after 'monkey' comments
14:43 CET+01:00
An instructor within the Swedish police force has been accused of hate crimes for referring to a trainee officer with a foreign background as a "monkey".

“Yes, they don't do anything else in the jungle besides hanging from vines,” witnesses claim the teacher said as he watched the trainee crossing the monkey bars during an obstacle course exercise, according to the complaint filed about the incident with the National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen).

The self-defense instructor allegedly paid particular attention to one man with a foreign background who he repeatedly referred to as ‘from the Amazon'.

The incident took place during a training event in December 2010, and several witnesses testified to hearing the comments.

The teacher, however, denied any recollection of referring to the jungle, yet admitted he may have made the connection with a monkey.

The "monkey" comment was reported along with a number of similar derogatory statements aimed at the same student and allegedly occurred from late 2010 through 2011.

Many of the comments revolved around the student's abilities in various training exercises, and the teacher often referred to the Amazon during the slurs.

The teacher was first accused of hate crimes, but the police later dropped the investigation, stating that not enough people heard the insults for the case to be classified as a hate crime.

The police have instead issued the teacher with a warning, which the investigation team considers is severe enough considering both the crime and its effect.

The student was part of a study group from Södermanland, eastern Sweden. The incident occurred at a police academy in Solna north of Stockholm.

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