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Police officer killed after shooting in Gothenburg

A police officer has died in hospital after being injured in a shooting in the Biskopsgården district of Gothenburg.

Police officer killed after shooting in Gothenburg
The police have begun a major operation in Biskopsgården after a police officer was fatally shot. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall / TT

The police chief for Gothenburg, Erik Nord, has told SVT, “The most likely thing now is that the shooting was not aimed at the police.”

The police say that an intensive investigation is now underway to be to find and arrest the suspect. They are interrogating witnesses and reviewing surveillance film, as well as door knocking.

According to reports, the police officer was talking to a couple of people when he was shot. He had been in the Biskopsgården area on a moped together with a colleague. He died later of his injuries. 

Police rushed to the scene with several patrols at 10.30pm on Wednesday night after reports from people who had heard gunshots in the area.

At a press conference on Thursday morning, police said they were not able to share any information about the suspected perpetrator or motive for the shooting, nor whether there was any suspected connection to criminal gangs.

“This is a terribly tragic event and it was a terrible and sad message to receive. My thoughts go above all to his relatives but also to all colleagues,” said Klas Johansson, the regional police chief in the West, in a statement.

The officer who was killed was described as in his early 30s and relatively new to the profession. 

The National Police Chief, Anders Thornberg, said: “It is with great sadness that we have received the news that a colleague has died after being shot during the evening. Our thoughts go to the family, loved ones and colleagues. I have spoken to the regional police chief and parts of the other police management in region West to ensure that they have the resources required to be able to prosecute the culprit. The police profession is associated with risks and we must continue the work of minimising those risks with great determination.” 

The Gothenburg police chief, Erik Nord, said, “One must be careful not to draw too far-reaching conclusions. But it could be that the policeman was shot because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But it is not possible to answer for real before we go further into the investigation.”

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CRIME

Swedish Green leader: ‘Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity’

The riots that rocked Swedish cities over the Easter holidays were nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but instead come down to class, the joint leader of Sweden's Green Party has told The Local in an interview.

Swedish Green leader: 'Easter riots nothing to do with religion or ethnicity'

Ahead of a visit to the school in Rosengård that was damaged in the rioting, Märta Stenevi said that neither the Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan, who provoked the riots by burning copies of the Koran, nor those who rioted, injuring 104 policemen, were ultimately motivated by religion. 

“His demonstration had nothing to do with religion or with Islam. It has everything to do with being a right extremist and trying to to raise a lot of conflict between groups in Sweden,” she said of Paludan’s protests. 

“On the other side, the police have now stated that there were a lot of connections to organised crime and gangs, who see this as an opportunity to raise hell within their communities.”

Riots broke out in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Stockholm, Norrköping, Linköping and Landskrona over the Easter holidays as a result of Paludan’s tour of the cities, which saw him burn multiple copies of the Koran, the holy book of Islam. 

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More than 100 police officers were injured in the riots, sparking debates about hate-crime legislation and about law and order. 

According to Stenevi, the real cause of the disorder is the way inequality has increased in Sweden in recent decades. 

“If you have big chasms between the rich people and poor people in a country, you will also have a social upheaval and social disturbance. This is well-documented all across the world,” she says. 
 
“What we have done for the past three decades in Sweden is to create a wider and wider gap between those who have a lot and those who have nothing.” 

 
The worst way of reacting to the riots, she argues, is that of Sweden’s right-wing parties. 
 
“You cannot do it by punishment, by adding to the sense of outsider status, you have to start working on actually including people, and that happens through old-fashioned things such as education, and a proper minimum income, to lift people out of their poverty, not to keep them there.”

This, she says, is “ridiculous”, when the long-term solution lies in doing what Sweden did to end extreme inequality at the start of the 20th century, when it created the socialist folkhem, or “people’s home”. 

“It’s easy to forget that 100 to 150 years ago, Sweden was a developing country, with a huge class of poor people with no education whatsoever. And we did this huge lift of a whole nation. And we can do this again,” she says. “But it needs resources, it needs political will.” 
 
 
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