Footage on Friday of a heavily pregnant black woman being dragged off a subway train and pinned down by security guards in Stockholm has sparked outrage in Sweden and across social media.
The unnamed woman, who is believed to be about 8 months pregnant, allegedly didn’t have a metro ticket. That’s when two guards in yellow vests pulled her off the train as her young daughter, who was wearing a pink coat, tried to put her arm around her mother. The guards then dragged the woman further away and pushed her onto a wooden bench nearby where they pinned her down.
A third guard led the child away as she sobbed uncontrollably.
The woman was eventually taken to the hospital for treatment and two guards have been suspended pending an inquiry.
“There are many mobile phone videos that have been posted about this that suggest that the security guards were too forceful,” Henrik Palmer, a spokesman with Stockholm’s SL public transport provider, told Swedish media.
The company also said the woman was given a penalty fare for not having a ticket.
“She refused this and therefore she, according to our rules, was asked to leave the subway,” the SL spokesman said. “She refused this too and when she was going to be escorted from the subway by our public security officers she started to scream and make resistance.”
Activist Lovette Jallow, who posted the video of the incident on her Instagram page, said she wasn’t surprised that the woman had been “mistreated” and “racially profiled” by the Swedish guards.
“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,” she said.
Swedish feminist-anti-racist organization Men for Gender Equality 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 color – non-white Swedes – we have seen there’s a lot of evidence that security guards use violence and sometimes when it’s totally unnecessary,” MGE president Alan Ali said.