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Cop fined for unlawful arrest of ‘cocky’ man

A police officer has been convicted of professional misconduct after forcing a man described as "cocky" into a police vehicle in central Stockholm and dropping him on the outskirts of town even though he had broken no laws.

Cop fined for unlawful arrest of 'cocky' man

The convicted officer was fined 8,000 kronor ($1,200) for his role in placing Ibrahim Assali, 41, in a police van and later leaving him near the Kaknäs Tower outside of Stockholm.

Another officer charged in connection with the incident, which took place in June 2011, was acquitted as he was not seen as having been responsible for the actual decision to remove Assali.

While he welcomed the conviction, Assali isn’t happy with the sentence handed down by the Stockholm District Court.

“The sentence is too mild,” he told the Metro newspaper.

“I’m going to appeal this. I want them to lose their jobs.”

Assali’s nightmare began when a police van pulled up behind him as he was leaving an eatery in central Stockholm last summer.

Two officers began interrogating him, prompting Assali to respond “sarcastically” when asked if he was carrying any sharp objects, telling police he had “tons”.

Even though police didn’t find anything illegal in his possession, they nevertheless forced Assali into the van and removed him from the area.

“They told me they would drive me home. One of them asked if I had a bus card. When I said I didn’t she just smiled and drove off,” Assali told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

While all six officers involved in the incident were investigated, only two were ultimately charged for their role in Assali’s removal.

According to the court, the officers lacked sufficient reason to detain and remove Assali, who wasn’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was simply on his way home, despite police reports describing his behaviour as “cocky” and a potential threat to public order.

TT/The Local/dl

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PROTESTS

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.

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