Over-zealous police arrests man with badges

Recently, a young man was arrested and later prosecuted for wearing a jacket with the wrong symbols.

The local police department in Värmdö, a suburb to Stockholm, Sweden, got a tip about a young man who would soon be arriving (with a local bus, I think), and that he would sport a jacket with inappropriate symbols. What was on the jacket? A Confederate Flag and an Iron Cross.

Allegedly, the police arrested the man as soon as he got off, took pictures of his jacket and then tore the symbols off. While I understand that these symbols probably aren’t the best ones to wear in public, I’m a bit shocked over the whole thing.

For those less educated, those two symbols are indeed used by Nazis respectively racists. But if you (and the police, and prosecutor) do your homework, you will soon realize that both have far greater and deeper meaning than that. And, more importantly, the original symbolism of either of them have nothing to do with Nazi Germany or Ku Klux Klan!

So, while I can relate to the fact that this young man’s opinions probably weren’t the most sympathetic I can’t fathom the way he got treated, and, even more, prosecuted. Also, he didn’t do anything, he only wore his jacket. Freedom of speech, eh?

Seriously, old symbols won’t become evil by default because someone with different opinions wear them (and yes, I know that it went overboard with the Swastika, but that isn’t necessarily true for every symbol in the world).

7 thoughts on “Over-zealous police arrests man with badges”

  1. Whether we do our homework or not, bottom line is what those symbols represent now. Such as the word “Fuck”.. history believes this word was very much accepted, yet now it’s considered vulgar. We’ll jump all over our children if this word escapes their mouth.. but as a parent, I could easily say, I’m educated, and that’s not what my kid meant. Yeah right, I’d be laughed at.

    Lately I’ve been wondering about things such as what happened to this young man.. in regards to symbols. How much freedom should be allowed? Have we allowed too much, is it being taken advantage of? Hell yes! But.. if we allowed them to take away some of our freedom, where do we draw the line?

    Recently some of the bars and restaurants in my town have decided to ban “colours” from their establishments. Good on them, it’s about time. I’m sick and tired of all the crap that gives free reign to gangs who infiltrate our kids, and our well-being.

    In regards to your story, well, that young man made his statement, and the authorities made theirs. As to who was right or wrong, I’m torn. All I know is if they would of slapped him in the hand like they do over here in Canada, it would never of make me stop and think about the kind of statement I was making in public. I’m sure; the people in Värmdö will be reconsidering wearing symbols such as those the next time they step out of their doors. I guess the question is, was it worth it.. to the young man, the authorities, and the public?

  2. Pat,

    Well, that’s one of the biggest problems societies face; how to keep everyone save while maintaining as much freedom as possible.

    Most likely, this kid wasn’t that well educated and really meant some bad things with his badges, but I still just find the police reaction a bit harsh, and over the top.

    I mean, after all, he hadn’t really done anything (at least not yet).

  3. It’s funny, after I wrote my comment, I thought, I must think society is pretty “Fucked” up for me to think Police brutality is the only way to sort this kind of stuff out or prevent another. No, that’s not really what I meant, but it is getting to a point, where one wonders, what else can we do?

    So, if I put all of that aside, yes Robert, you’re right.. it was a bit harsh, indeed.

  4. Pat,

    i didn’t think there was anything wrong with your comment. It’s such a delicate balance to keep a society together, and it is hard to know where to draw the line.

  5. Wow… I’d be afraid to wear my “Fucked” baseball cap in Sweden!

    If the only thing this person did ‘wrong’ was to wear a Confederate Flag and an Iron Cross then the police involved were way out of line. Perhaps the Swedish police will soon issue a list of what can and cannot be worn in public? Smells like freedom to me.

  6. You definitely (can and) should be able to wear a swastika as well if you really want to though it’s not something i’d do. A confederate flag is pretty silly if you ask me.. and an iron cross?? what the hell.. that was around over a century before nazis… what is wrong with it? You should be able to wear anything you want… furthermore if you really want to go that extra mile.. you should not be able to be arrested for being naked.. imagine our society punishes people for being completely natural (unclothed). Lewd and inappropriate perhaps.. but not merely ‘indecent’.. though you should also be able to tease someone for being that way if they deserve it! hah

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