Court upholds verdict against police in fatal car chase
An appeals court upheld the verdict against a police officer who ordered the opening of a drawbridge to try to cut off two escaping petrol thieves. The action was not deemed as proportionate to the suspected crime.
The two men, in their 20s, were suspected of filling up their car with petrol for less than SEK 300, and then not paying for it. A car chase ensued, where the Hjulsta bridge in Enköping was opened to try to stop them. But the men drove straight through the barriers and into the freezing water, where they died.
According to the appeals court, the opening of the bridge must be judged as a "fatal act", considering that it was dark and there were reasons to believe the driver was not sober and that his judgement was "gravely impaired".
The police officer, who denied any wrongdoing, will be fined, but according to his employer, he will not lose his job.