Police use stun grenades to take woman’s child

Police have been criticized for using stun grenades when taking an infant child away from its mother, after she pulled a knife and refused to cooperate.

Police use stun grenades to take woman's child

When police arrived at the 30-year-old woman's home in southern Sweden, she wasn't prepared to allow them to take her four-and-a-half-month-old child into the care of social services.

She armed herself with a knife, took the child in her other arm, and locked herself in a room.

After several hours of negotiations, police officers decided the child was in danger and broke down the door and threw stun grenades, managing to overpower the woman and take her child and the knife from her.

Such grenades, also known as flash grenades, do not cause any permanent damage, rather, they disorient a target by disturbing their balance, sight, and hearing temporarily.

The child was the woman's third to be taken away by authorities following a psychiatric evaluation of the woman.

The incident, which occurred in mid-November in Helsingborg, has the woman's lawyer up in arms over the officers' choice of action and weaponry.

"It's extremely strange to use stun grenades against a woman who is only trying to protect her child. She thought the police conduct was unfair and felt she was up against an impossibly superior power," Charlotte Lagersten, her lawyer, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper (DN).

Lagersten added that she was "very critical" about how social services had treated the woman, and questioned why officials had not adequately explained why the mother was unable to take care of her own children.

The mother was released from psychiatric care on Thursday.

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