Swedish teenager sentenced to eight years for police murder

A 17-year-old youth has been sentenced to eight years in prison in Sweden for killing a police officer, after investigators found his DNA on clothes and a gun found near the crime scene.

Swedish teenager sentenced to eight years for police murder
The 17-year old attending the court hearing earlier on November 8th. Johan Hallnäs / TT

“The court is unanimous. It is important to note that the 17-year-old was not identified by an individual,” said the judge, Göran Lundahl, at a press conference after the sentence was announced. “The sentence is built on circumstantial evidence.”

The prosecutors built their case around security camera footage, and the youth’s DNA, which was found on weapons, clothes, and face mask discovered, together with an electric scooter, 700 metres from the crime scene. The face mask also held large amounts of gunshot residue from the murder weapon.

Andreas Danman, a policeman, was shot while rushing on his police motorcycle to the site of another shooting in the troubled Gothenburg district of Biskopsgården. 

As he reached a crossroads, two shots were fired at him from a submachine gun, one of which hit him. He later died of his injuries, in a rare police killing that has shocked Sweden. 

Klas Johansson, regional police chief of western Sweden, described Danman at the time as being in his early 30s and relatively new to the profession. 

According to Gothenburg court, the shooting was part of a gang conflict, and it was unclear whether the teenager had realised that he was shooting at a policeman.

“It has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt that the 17-year-old knew that Danman was a police officer when he fired the shots,” Lundahl said. “Our conclusion is that he must have mistaken him for someone else.” 

In its judgment, the court nonetheless ruled that the 17-year-old had had intent to kill, noting that the teenager had previously been sentenced for the attempted murder of a slightly older teenager, who was also part of this investigation. The older teenager was shot just before Danman, alongside two friends.

“This is an incident carried out in a gang environment and as part of a gang conflict,” Lundahl said.

The 17-year-old denies being involved in the incident, claiming to have been with acquaintances playing games in Frölunda, on the other side of Gothenburg, at the time the murder occurred. He was, however, unable or unwilling to describe these acquaintances other than providing their first names.

CORRECTION: Article edited to clarify a quote by the judge about circumstantial evidence.

Member comments

  1. Living in the USA I realize that our justice system is barbaric compared to western Europe, and killing a police officer would be life in prison or the death penalty( I am against the death penalty except when it comes to rape and murder of children). I wonder if a teenager that can kill a cop can be rehabilitated in 8yrs. I believe in rehabilitation, but I wonder if the police officers family believes an 8yr sentence is justice. Violent crime in Scandinavia is far lower than the USA, and I would like to think it is partially due to a rehabilitation system that radically decreases recidivism. Sadly, my country believes in revenge more than rehabilitation, but I believe in change and I hold up Scandinavia as a beacon of hope that we can change as a society in the US.

  2. 8 years is nothing. The death penalty would have been better in my opinion. Killing a servant of the public is no small matter.

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Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime