– Copenhagen police chiefs launched an internal investigation into accusations of racism within the force, in response to a growing number of complaints from immigrant citizens who claimed to be victims of ‘racial profiling,’ after being subjected to stop and search tactics by over zealous police officers. Chief of Police Hanne Bech Hansen was forced to counter charges of racism from Turks, Pakistanis, Africans, or anyone with an ‘ethnic hue,’ who claimed that they were randomly pulled over whilst driving or stopped on the streets for no other reason than their non-Danish appearance. One young West Indian, who felt so violated by a recent encounter that he appealed to national daily Jyllands-Posten for help, described how he was subjected to a totally unprovoked and undignified search in broad daylight on Pile Allé by aggressive police officers. The man said he was forcibly wrestled to the ground, placed in handcuffs and subsequently arrested because he had ‘over-reacted’ to accusations that he was in possession of drugs – which he wasn’t. In addition, the police have received hundreds of racism complaints from ‘ethnic minority’ drivers harassed by traffic cops who order them to pull over on suspicion of traffic violations. But when unable to find any evidence of wrongdoing, these officers often make derogatory, racist comments before provocatively throwing the individual’s driving licence and papers back through the window. According to Hansen, the police are making a conscious effort to counter charges of racism by developing a liaison strategy with ethnic minorities that includes community meetings with local immigrant leaders and investigations into every single accusation of racism by police officers. ‘We can do much better,’ said Hansen. ‘We will not accept certain rogue police officers acting in a racist manner. We intend to do everything within our capabilities to stop it.’ Copenhagen police has distributed a brochure to all employees entitled, ‘Discrimination – not here,’ which documents police efforts to combat racism.
(Sourse: Copenhagen Post)