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POLICE

Swedish police shoot drunk gun-toting man

A drunk man was shot in the foot by police in Umeå in northern Sweden on Friday night after he pointed a pistol at them in an attempt to evade arrest.

“They determined that they were faced with a deadly threat,” said Benny Ahlenius at Umeå police.

Police were called to an address in the Umedalen area of the city on Friday night following a report that a man had assaulted and threatened his wife.

When the police unit arrived the apparently drunk man pointed a gun at them, forcing them to flee their vehicle.

“They threw themselves out,” Ahlenius said.

The police officers attempted to persuade the man to surrender his weapon by firing warning shots and when he remained unpersuaded, they shot him in the foot.

Bleeding from his wound the man refused to surrender and attempted to steal the police vehicle, but to no avail as he was unable to get the car into gear.

The police then shot the tyres and the man was finally forced to give up.

The man is now in custody on suspicion of assault and unlawful threats.

According to Benny Ahlenius it is very unusual for police officers to shoot suspected criminals.

“But here they have made use of the paragraph on self-defence,” he said.

The police will now open a routine internal investigation as a result of the shooting.

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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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