Policewoman charged with assaulting drunk man

A policewoman who was caught on video repeatedly beating a drunk man in central Stockholm has received a conditional sentence for assault.

The incident occurred in the summer of 2013. Police were called to the location to arrest a man who was suspected of two cases of assault. After arriving on the scene, the policewoman hit the man at least 10 times and released her dog.

An eyewitness filmed the incident and newspaper Dagens Nyheter published the video, which became a central piece of evidence in the case. The film 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 is 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 make the dog stop attacking him, calling "tell him to stop biting me". At the same time, the police officer beats the man repeatedly until he finally lies down.

In a press statement, the Stockholm District Court said that the police officer "was not in a situation which involved great danger or an immediate threat since there was no sign that the man would attack her". She therefore did not have the right to resort to the kind of violence she used, the court determined.

The policewoman was prosecuted on suspicion of assault or breach of duty. Since she risked losing her job, the court decided to give her a conditional sentence.

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