New Yorkers acclimated to being terrorized by the NYPD are all agog because four young Swedish cops on vacation managed to calmly, humanely stop a subway beatdown without shedding blood, breaking necks, shooting retreating backs or otherwise launching unwarranted executions. Back home, Swedes were baffled by the fuss: "If you see something bad, you just do something to help...It's ordinary." The boy-heroes were likewise confounded, asking, "Is this a big deal?" Actually... no, it shouldn't be.
Although I've not so far found a supporting cite, I'm pretty sure police in Sweden are chosen for intelligence and personality, not authoritarianism.
You may well be correct, however I think the problem is that our national penchant for militarizing everything has resulted in too many police forces treating the people as "enemies", except in the case that you may appear to be a member of the "our guys". I am 78 years old and have now seen the evolution of our country into a fortress. I have close family member who are or have been NYPD police officers and have had a close view of this organization.
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Notice how easily they speak in a second language. Which means they are overall well educated human beings.
I think the point has been missed. These Swedes commented that is the a normal thing in their country and they are normal tourists. They are doing what they consider anyone would do in
seeing an altercation such as what occurred. Perhaps, the finger pointing should go inward instead of outward. We, as normal human beings, should stand up for our fellow man when we see injustice. That is the capacity in which these Swedes were operating NOT as police officers as they stated. We have become afraid to act while at the same time hardened from watching violence continuously on the news, tv, movies, books, etc. We are afraid to act as we may stand alone. Set aside your feelings regarding the NYPD and look inward. I do not live in New York nor do I know any police officer on the NYPD. I look and comment objectively as an outsider. There may very well be problems within the NYPD but this news article is not about that. The act the Swedes performed should be a feel good article of humans helping humans not a jumping off point for anger, prejudice and negative finger pointing. That's just one old broad's opinion.
It might also have something to do with the fact that they were raised in a social democratic society that basically takes care of its citizens and they don't feel like they have to prove that they have a right to exist, unlike this other place I am familiar with.
I take exception to your opening line about "New Yorkers acclimated to being terrorized by the NYPD". And as long as you perpetrate that myth problems will continue to escalate. When any NYPD cop acts out of line action will be taken against them. Just look at what happened in the case of Abner Louima, his police attacker was sentenced to 30 years in prison without the possibility of parole. If Eric Gardner had put his hands behind his back when police told him he was under arrest, instead of fighthing with police it is very probable that he would be alive today.
Good thing there were no NYPD goons around or there would have been 4 dead Swedes on that train.
That's more a function of where Sweden is. Imagine how many languages we'd speak if every state in the US and province in Canada had a different official language, no two alike. You live in NY and want to travel to Philly so you have to learn German, and to ski in Vermont French, and to visit Massachusetts Portuguese, and then when you go on holiday to visit the source of the Mississippi in Minnesota you have to pick up Swedish and Norwegian, Finnish too if you go up to the Iron Range, Lakota for a side trip to the Black Hills....
You summed it well with "If Eric Gardner had put his hands behind his back when police told him..." i.e. not putting hands behind the back...is enough of a good reason for one to be murdered.
You equate learning of a second language with the ability to buy a ticket to Disney Land like activities. Learning a second language expands your mind and your knowledge and your humanity...first and foremost...and it requires a value system that finds value in it....and what I meant was that they are a representation of the society in which they live and in which they are educated. My wrong.
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This is extremely rare. The four Swedish cops are to be highly commended for what they did to defuse and stop a potentially lethal situation and save lives. How I wish that cops here in the United States would take something like this to heart.
Now sit back and enjoy some "negative finger pointing" sans taser, club, gun, tank, et al.
You seem to be intentionally ignoring the FACT that police departments across this nation from small towns to the largest cities have become militarized. They have become more militant as a matter of the rise of a particular authoritarian culture that has run parallel to a militarization of police depts acquiring weapons of warriors.
Also, the systematic use of so-called "non lethal" weaponry that is used almost entirely without any legal restraint has facilitated that rise of this militant culture in the direction of a policing culture that supports officers essentially engaging in torture.
Furthermore, the school to prison culture within this emergent brutal system of "justice" incentivizes all of the above with money and power relationships shared between administrators of these militarized police depts, judges handing out harsh sentences for unpaid fines, state and local officials paid off by corporate prison interests, and those corporate prisons profiting from each manufactured "criminal".
Oh no, there is no systemic difference at all between the Swedish system of policing and justice and what has emerged in the US! Move on, nothing to see right?
Oh yeah, what you see is only within. Ohmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
You go ahead and look within, meditate, light some candles, while the rest of us try to do something about this injustice.
I abhor the type of boot licking that your argument conveys.
So following your autocratic suck-up logic, a person is justly executed on the street for refusing to put their digits behind their back?
Whatever you do, please please don't join the police dept in any-location-USA.
Too, too bad that our police are trained in Israel and not in Sweden. The IDF model along with the PTSD marine model are both very hard on us out here.
Sorry for confusing you -- I equate it with being able to travel a few hundred miles (whatever the reason might be) and communicate with people at the destination, because they probably won't speak your language. Everyone in Europe, regardless of language, is in that situation, but no English-speaker is in the US.
Every Swede who wants to go on holiday to, say, Majorca has to learn either Spanish or German (Majorca is where Germany goes when it shuts down in August, so most Majorcans speak German). If they want to visit the Louvre, they've to learn French, and so forth. If they want to do business in Britain or Russia, English or Russian respectively. Et cetera.
Too, too bad that our police are trained in Israel
is a bunch of hocus-pocus. American police are trained here in the United States, not Israel. American cops and soldiers alike are known for being more brutal than any other soldiers or cops in the world, including Israel.