Policewoman who beat drunk is taken off beat
The female police officer who was recently caught on video beating a drunk man with her truncheon and releasing her dog on him is now officially a crime suspect.
Prosecutors launched a criminal investigation after newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) published the video of the incident, which took place on a Friday morning in July in central Stockholm.
Now, the Stockholm District Court has declared that the policewoman is suspected of either assault or professional misconduct, which means she will be transferred to a different post for the duration of the investigation.
The vice director of public prosecution, Eva Nilsson, did not want to comment on the case but confirmed to DN that the policewoman has been assigned a lawyer and that a preliminary investigation has been launched.
“In time we will announce a decision,” Nilsson told DN.
Before coming across the policewoman, the drunk man had apparently fled from a fight and was upset. He was bleeding after smashing a window with his hand, leading passers-by to call the police and emergency services.
The film, recorded by a passer-by, shows the police officer and the man talking out on the street. He appears to be drunk and talks about "blowing the whole street up", but he remains calm and physically passive.
Suddenly, the police officer raises her voice, ordering the man to lie down. She grabs her truncheon and releases her dog.
The man moves down the street while trying to get the dog to stop attacking him, calling "tell him to stop biting me". At the same time, the police officer beats the man repeatedly with her truncheon – 14 times in total - until he finally lies down.
The policewoman is currently on vacation but has requested to be represented by lawyer Johan Eriksson, who has a history of successfully defending crime-suspected police officers.
Meanwhile, the drunk man who was attacked is also under investigation. Though he was never arrested, he is suspected of assault, unlawful threats, infliction of damage and narcotics crimes, DN reported.
The incident led to strong responses from the public, with many accusing the policewoman of using excessive force. But then, the video does not show what happened before or after the incident, leading others to suggest that the policewoman is being judged prematurely and that police officers have the right to use some force.