Police officers charged with death of 20-year-old with Down's syndrome

Three police officers are to be prosecuted over the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Eric Torell, who had Downs syndrome and autism.

One officer is charged with manslaughter, while the others are charged with misconduct. Two of them were at the scene in August last year, and shot Torell after he was seen brandishing a toy gun. After repeated calls for Torell to drop the gun, which he ignored, they fired twenty-five shots. Three of them hit Torell, and two of them - including the one that killed him - hit him in the back.

Prosecutor Martin Tidén deemed that it was possible to mistake the toy gun for a real weapon, but that the argument of self-defence was no longer valid, after Torell turned his back. Anton Strand, defence lawyer for the officer charged with manslaughter, said that all three of the officers on the scene had acted in the same way and that is is impossible to tell from the investigation which order the bullets hit the body.

Torell's mother welcomes the prosecutor's decision and says it is a relief that someone will be prosecuted for her son's death.

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