Regional newspaper Jönköpings-Posten reported on Wednesday that police had been called out to a location in Jönköping municipality shortly after 7am on Tuesday after a Swedish Lucia procession was mistaken for a Ku Klux Klan meeting.
It wrote that police had received a call claiming that the Ku Klux Klan had gathered in a dining hall, but that it turned out to be nothing more than Lucia celebrations. Several Swedish newspapers then reported on the incident, including big national dailies.
When The Local contacted the police press spokesperson for the region, he had not heard anything and said no report had been filed about such an incident. We added at the time that it was unclear if there had been actual confusion, or just a prank call to the police.
It turned out to be a prank, but an inside job. On Wednesday afternoon the police issued a press statement explaining that the incident had never happened, not even the call. It was all the result of one officer trying to joke with their colleagues by writing it in the log. It then accidentally got reported by another officer, who according to the press statement did not know it was not true, as facts to Swedish media.
“This is not acceptable. You have to be able to trust that the information the police hands out is correct. But sometimes mistakes slip in. In this case it was a joke that did not turn out well,” Fredrik Lindfors, head of the police in the Södra Vätterbygden region.
Earlier in the day, Jönköpings-Posten had been told by the police officer who read the prank note that officers had been sent out to the scene only to conclude that the suspicions could be dismissed.
“There was nothing to it of course. It was a misunderstanding, quite simply. It was someone who hadn't caught on to the fact that it was Lucia,” he was quoted as saying.
Ku Klux Klan is an extremist white power movement founded in the US in the 19th century. Lucia is a Swedish family tradition where you sing songs about Christmas, wear candles in your hair or, if you are a boy, dress up in white robes and tall pointy hats.
It is not the first time the Ku Klux Klan has left Swedes scratching their heads. Earlier this year a major fuel station chain was forced to reconsider its advertising after some of its new flags accidentally spelled out the letters “KKK”.
READ ALSO: Six things not to say on Sweden's Lucia day