The NYPD has been the subject of a lot of criticism in the wake of the Eric Garner chokehold death. Now, it seems that the department has been shown up by four vacationing Swedish police officers, who apparently have a better understanding of how to deal with suspects than some members of “New York’s Finest.”
The Swedish officers, identified by the New York Post as Samuel Kvarzell, Markus Asberg, Eric Jansberger, and Erik Naslund, broke up a fight between two men on a subway train, in response to the driver’s call for help. Another passenger on the train recorded the scene, after the officers pulled the men apart.
There are no chokeholds. No drawn guns, or tasers. No yelling, or cursing at the men. Just calm, relaxed voices, asking the men if they are ok. One man is yelling that he can’t breath, and struggles against the officers who are holding him down, with his arm behind his back. One officer says to him, “Take it easy. Sir, calm down, ok? Everything is going to be ok.”
While the four officers are the talk of the town in Gotham, what they did has hardly been noticed back home in Sweden, according to the New York Post. Officer Kia Samrell, who works with Kvarzell at the Stockholm Police Department, says, “When somebody does something good here, we give them cake and a medal. But it’s not really a big deal.” She says that in Sweden, when you see something bad, you help. It’s what you are expected to do.
We all know that not all cops are bad, and many positive interactions between police and citizens go unnoticed, and not captured on video. But, did these Swedish cops provide a template for how American cops should interact with the public, regardless of the situation?