New York, NY-- Four Swedish police officers vacationing in New York City were on the subway on Wednesday when a fight broke out. The train operator asked if there were any police riding who could help with the situation. The Scandinavian patrolmen were very soothing and non-aggressive as they de-escalated the situation instead of escalating it, the way we have seen so often from our own men and women in blue.
The officers were on their way to see a performance of Les Misérables when the train operator frantically asked for assistance. “Are there any police officers on the train?!” the men heard over the intercom.
“We thought maybe someone needed help,” Samuel Kvarzell, 25, a rookie with the Stockholm Police Department told the New York Post.
The Scandinavian patrolmen ran towards the front of the subway to help and encountered a brutal fight between two homeless men that had broken out. One of the men was reportedly attacking the other, as the injured victim made very little effort to defend himself.
After separating the aggressor off of the victim, the officers kept the aggressor detained in an arm lock while attempting to calm him using non-threatening voices and a soothing hand on the back.
"Take it easy, just relax, everything is going to be okay," one of the officers tells the detained man while he frantically screamed that he couldn't breathe. This seemed to calm him, and the officer asked if he was injured with a kind and gentle hand on his back. The officer seemed genuinely concerned about his well being.
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There was no violence; there was no threat of violence, no cursing or racist remarks. The officers acted as professionals, even while off-duty and on vacation. It is easy to see that these officers were not out to bully or harm anyone and that they were simply trying to make sure that nobody was hurt.
“It was pretty routine,” one of the officers, Eric Jansberger, told the Post as he downplayed their actions. “We came just to make sure no one got hurt. We were trying to stop the fight.”
These officers did not seem to realize that they just gave Americans a glimpse of what professional policing could look like.
“We came here for vacation; we’ve been here one day,” Markus Asberg, 25, told the Post “We’re no heroes, just tourists.”
In May of 2013, Stockholm saw over a week of riots reminiscent of the uprising in Ferguson last year. The riots began two days after the police killed a 69-year-old man who was wielding a machete.
The police claim it was in self-defense, but the several hundred youth who participated in the uprising blamed it on racism by the police in an immigrant-heavy area. At least seven officers were injured and a police station, as well as 150 vehicles, were lit on fire.
Sweden may have an issue with brutality themselves, but these officers certainly showed the NYPD a thing or two about how to de-escalate a situation.
While this video is certainly fascinating, nobody can ever beat the Icelandic Police, who have the most lovable Instagram in the world, and had a national day of mourning when they killed their first, and only, person ever.