Swedish police have launched two separate investigations after a video of a heavily pregnant woman being forcibly removed from the Stockholm metro and pinned down on a bench went viral, prompting accusations of racial profiling by security guards.
Swedish public radio SR said Stockholm police were investigating the incident at the Hötorget station on Thursday evening as a potential case of misconduct and assault by the guards, but also “violent resistance” by the woman, who was travelling with her young daughter.
The two guards have been suspended pending a third inquiry by the metro operator, SL. “There are many mobile phone videos posted about this that suggest that the security guards were too forceful,” SL’s Henrik Palmér told the state broadcaster, SVT.
“Unfortunately, it can be difficult to make reasonable judgments in these situations. Things get stressful. Evidently, it seems that this incident was not handled correctly from beginning to end,” Palmér added.
The video was widely shared on social media, with many commenters complaining that the security guards had unfairly targeted a black woman and expressing shock that her daughter was left to cry while her mother was being held down.
“This shouldn’t surprise anyone, even if the victim is pregnant,” Lovette Jallow, an author and activist, said on her Instagram account action4humanity_se. Swedes of African origin were being “racially profiled and mistreated”, Jallow said. “All I can do is hope the baby is all right.”
SL said in a statement the woman was caught without a valid ticket and given a penalty fare, which she refused to pay. When she was asked to leave the metro she “started to scream and resist”, the company said, adding that guards were entitled to “reject or apprehend persons who are disturbing the order”.
The woman and numerous witnesses told Swedish media the guards had grabbed and manhandled her after she told them she had a valid travel pass but could not find it, and despite her trying to explain she could could not get off the train because she was tired and in pain.
She found the ticket soon afterwards, she told Expressen, adding that she has had two hospital check-ups since, one straight after the incident and again on Friday to ensure her pregnancy, in its eighth month, had not been affected. “It’s terrible, I feel so bad, I have bruises all over,” she told the paper.
Pelle Johansson, a spokesman for CSG, the private security company that employs the guards, said it was “normal practice” to take employees out of service during an investigation, but said he could not comment further on an ongoing case.
Source link Google News