Police shooting of a 69 year old man behind turbulence in Sweden
The protests in Sweden began on May 19, six days after police shot dead a 69-year-old man who had locked himself in an apartment in Husby, west of Stockholm.”
Hundreds of demonstrators on Wednesday broke windows and torched cars in the fourth night of protests in the suburbs of Stockholm, which are mainly populated by immigrants and asylum seekers.
Local media reports said that a police station office was set alight in the southern suburb of Ragsved. Several people were arrested in connection with the incidents.
Unrest has been reported in at least nine suburbs of Stockholm.
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt called for calm on May 21, when a police station in the northwest of Stockholm was attacked, two schools were damaged and a local arts center was set alight.
“We have groups of young men who think that they can and should change society with violence,” the Swedish premier stated.
More than 100 cars as well as two schools were reportedly set alight on May 19.
Local residents have accused the police of racism. They say some police officers disrespect youths by calling them “apes.”
Meanwhile, police said two cars were also torched in the southern city of Malmo on Wednesday.
The protests in Sweden began on May 19, six days after police shot dead a 69-year-old man who had locked himself in an apartment in Husby, (a poor neighborhood) in west of Stockholm.
A local source speaking to state-owned Radio Sweden said residents had been protesting since the shooting incident, demanding an investigation. However, they felt their actions had been left unanswered by authorities, the source added.
Police said they responded to calls saying the 69-year-old man was walking around carrying a machete.
When police came to the scene, the man had gone inside and stood on his balcony threatening them. Officers later decided to break into his apartment and as they were trying to overpower him, they fired shots that killed the elderly man.
The riots in one of Europe’s richest capitals have raised serious doubts about the country that prides itself on a reputation for “social justice.”
The protests have also fuelled a debate about how Sweden is coping with youth unemployment and an influx of immigrants.