Video of Swedish police dragging a pregnant black woman off a train sparks controversy
- Video of an incident in which Swedish police dragged a pregnant black woman off a train car sparked outcry and an investigation into possible misconduct.
- The pregnant woman told the New York Times that the incident began when she couldn't find her travel card and an agent issued her a fine.
- The incident comes months after Swedish police made international headlines for forcibly removing Chinese tourists from a hostel, adding to a swelling conversation of treatment of minority populations in Sweden.
Video of an incident in which Swedish police dragged a pregnant woman off a train car sparked outcry and an investigation into possible misconduct.
After the incident, officials told Swedish news that two security guards were suspended and there is an ongoing police investigation into the confrontation that began over a missing ticket.
Video of the incident, taken by a bystander just outside the train car, shows two officers removing a visibly pregnant woman from her seat and pulling her out of the train before pinning her face down against a nearby bench. As the woman screams, a third officer takes away a crying child that appeared to be with the woman on the train.
"Those videos do indeed suggest that the security officers reacted too fiercely," Stockholm public transit spokesperson Henrik Palmer told a Swedish news outlet.
The New York Times reported Sunday that the pregnant woman, who wished to only been identified by her first name Jeanine, is a beauty salon worker who is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Jeanine told the Times she was on the way to the hospital with her 5-year-old daughter because she was having contractions. While on the train, she couldn't find her travel card and was issued a fine by a transit agent.
Angry that she had forgotten the card, she threw the fine on the ground, which prompted the agent to tell Jeanine she had to leave the train. When they reached a station, two security guards entered the train and pulled her out onto the platform, giving her bruises on her back, thighs, and arms she told the Times were still present Sunday.
"They took me by the arm very hard," she said. "They forced me out. They put me on the bench, with my stomach down. One of them put their knee on my back and I lost my breath."
Jeanine added: "I was afraid that my baby was going to die in my belly."
A witness confirmed Jeanine's account of the incident, saying officers pinned her to a bench as she continued to scream.
The confrontation comes amid a swelling conversation surrounding racial profiling and police brutality in Sweden.
Swedish activist organisation Men for Gender Equality President Alan Ali told the BBC that the incident wasn't the first time security guards had used excessive force in recent months.
"When it comes to people of colour - we have seen there's a lot of evidence that security guards use violence and sometimes when it's totally unnecessary," Ali said.
The confrontation comes months after a video of Swedish police forcibly removing Chinese tourists from a hostel made international headlines and prompted condemnation by Chinese diplomats.
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