Two guards have been suspended for their brutal intervention during which they dragged a heavily pregnant woman off a train in Stockholm for having no valid ticket, the daily newspaper Expressen reported.
The woman was kicked off a metro train at Hötorget in Stockholm and had to go to the hospital, the police and public transportation company SL reported.
According to SL spokesman Henrik Palmér, the woman had no valid ticket and was ejected after "making strong opposition" and making it clear she was not going to pay the fee.
"They tried to take her off the train. Then this tumult occurs. They say, she falls, and it gets messy", Palmér told Expressen.
Eyewitness Mahshid Rasti said that the guards pulled the woman out despite fellow commuters' protests. This resulted in a melee that was reported to the police.
Palmér later admitted that the guards went "too hard" on the woman, but stressed that it's difficult to make a reasonable judgement in such situations.
After the intervention, the two guards were suspended from service, according to regional traffic council Kristoffer Tamsons. An internal investigation by SL has also been concluded.
"We are against all forms of insecurity, and they are unacceptable whoever commits them", Tamsons said.
Lovette Jallow, a lecturer, writer and anti-racism activist, has collected testimony from witnesses and posted several videos of the event on social media.
"A black woman who is eight months pregnant is dragged and pulled out the subway. She gets hit in the stomach against a bench, and the guards use excessive force. The woman is screaming, while the children are looking worriedly", Jallow wrote.
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Tomorrow all the witnesses that came forth with their evidence will be making their own reports… In these two videos you can see the victim dragged out of the train, her child taken from her and whilst she attempts to stand up she is held down. The full video is over 5 minutes long and I will try and edit and put it up tonight or tomorrow… After everything the Swedish public was shown in the recent @kallafaktatv4 documentary about how aftiswedes are racially profiled and mistreated this shouldn’t surprise anyone even if the victim is pregnant. The victim is currently in the hospital and all I can do is hope the baby is alright because if anything happens to that child. There will be hell to pay.
According to Jallow, the woman was in pain which prevented her from procuring a ticket. She promised to make a police report as soon the as the mother is alright. She also pledged "hell to pay" if something happened to the baby.
Jallow also complained that "Afro-Swedes" were being systematically "racially profiled and mistreated", saying it was "no surprise".
Her post triggered many sympathetic reactions from fellow Swedes, who argued that the guards overpowered the woman and accused them of racism.
However, some begged to differ and objected to the racist allegations.
"Just trying to bank some sense in people. Everyone seems to jump to quick conclusions. Sexism! Racism! Overkill! God… They would have done the same with a white man, too" one user pointed out.