Norway to investigate tactics of unarmed police officers after five die in bow-and-arrow attack

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Norway on Saturday introduced it’ll maintain an impartial investigation into the actions of police and security agencies following a bow-and-arrow attack that killed 5 individuals and injured three others. Police have been criticized for reacting too slowly to include the bloodbath, acknowledging that the 5 deaths occurred after police first encountered the attacker.

Norway’s home intelligence company, identified by the acronym PST, mentioned it determined to hunt the evaluation after consulting with the nation’s nationwide and regional police commanders concerning the assault Wednesday night time within the southern city of Kongsberg. A 37-year-old native resident who police mentioned has admitted to the killings has been detained and is present process psychiatric analysis.

“Given the seriousness of the matter, it is extremely vital that studying factors and any weaknesses and errors are recognized rapidly so as to have the ability to implement measures instantly,” PST mentioned in a press release.

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Norwegian media have questioned how lengthy it took officers to apprehend suspect Espen Andersen Braathen after the regional police division obtained stories a couple of man capturing arrows at a grocery store. In response to a police timeline, the primary info on the assault was logged at 6:13 p.m. and Andersen Braathen was caught at 6:47 p.m.

Authorities haven’t revealed what exactly occurred inside that 34-minute interval.

Typically, police officers say the primary officers on the scene noticed the suspect however took cowl and known as for reinforcements when arrows have been fired at them. The officers have acknowledged the armed suspect bought away after which doubtless killed the 5 victims between the ages of 52 and 78 each open air and inside some residences.

Norway is among the few dozen international locations on the planet the place regulation enforcement officers don’t robotically carry weapons although they’ve a speedy entry to weapons and different weapons, relying on the state of affairs. Authorities in a press release mentioned police have been unarmed throughout their first encounter and armed throughout later encounters with the alleged assailant.

The information comes amid rising calls in the US to defund police and disarm law enforcement officials, together with a name by Sen. Ed Markey to disarm cops of “weapons of struggle.”

“Portland police routinely assault peaceable protestors with brute pressure. We should disarm these officers, and each different police division in America, of weapons of struggle, and enact a nationwide ban on tear gasoline, rubber and plastic bullets, and bean bag rounds,” the Massachusetts Democrat mentioned final 12 months.

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These calls grew to become a actuality for police security officers at Portland State College, who earlier this year announced that their officers would begin doing their patrols unarmed.

“I am supportive of the thought I am glad that there will not be weapons on patrol,” a graduate scholar on the faculty mentioned of the transfer.

Others have known as for social workers to replace police on some calls, arguing that they’d be higher outfitted to deal with psychological well being emergencies that generally lead to deadly interactions with police.

Authorities mentioned one of many wounded within the assault in Norway was an off-duty police officer struck contained in the grocery store, and that each one the wounded have been launched from the hospital.

The alleged attacker was identified to police earlier than the lethal assault. Norwegian public broadcaster NRK reported that PST safety officers obtained details about Andersen Braathen in 2015 and brokers interviewed him in 2017 to find out if he posed a menace. The next 12 months, the company contacted Norwegian well being authorities about him and concluded that he suffered from a severe psychological sickness, NRK mentioned.

The VG newspaper additionally reported the company thought Andersen Braathen would possibly perform a “low-scale assault with easy means in Norway.” PST didn’t touch upon that report.

Police mentioned Saturday that their suspicion that the suspect’s obvious psychological sickness triggered the assault had strengthened additional, whereas Andersen Braathen’s assertion of being a convert to Islam had turn into a much less vital investigation line.

“He himself has mentioned that he has transformed to Islam. It’s a speculation, however can be a speculation that he hasn’t accomplished so. The investigation to date reveals that he hasn’t accomplished this (changing) significantly,” police inspector Per Thomas Omholt informed a information convention Saturday.

Omholt mentioned Friday that three weapons, together with the bow and arrow, have been used within the assault, however declined to establish the weapons additional or reveal how the 5 victims have been killed because of the ongoing investigation.

A spokesman for Norway’s Muslim group informed NRK that it was irresponsible for the police to publish the suspect’s self-acclaimed conversion to Islam, as they did Thursday.

“It hurts, it’s very painful,” Waqar Dar informed NRK. “There are lots of younger Muslims who write to me and say they’ve a nasty feeling. They love Norway however really feel they aren’t beloved again.”

Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl, who assumed the submit on Thursday together with the remainder of Norway’s new center-left authorities, has to date not commented on the police dealing with of the assault.

“Now it’s important that the police get a evaluation and examine the matter completely,” she informed the Swedish public broadcaster SVT.

Norwegian police on Saturday recognized the 4 feminine victims as Andrea Meyer, 52; Hanne Englund, 56; Liv Berit Borge, 75; and Gun Marith Madsen, 78. The male sufferer was recognized as Gunnar Erling Sauve, 75.

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A number of of them have been a part of Kongsberg’s thriving artists’ group, Norwegian media reported. NRK described Englund as a much-respected potter and artist who ran a gallery and lived in Kongsberg. Madsen was a self-taught painter and Borge held board positions in native nonprofit artwork organizations.

Sauve had a protracted profession as native decide and earlier labored for Norway’s atmosphere ministry. He was Borge’s accomplice, NRK mentioned. Meyer had moved to Norway from her native Germany a number of years in the past.

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette Marit will go to Kongsberg on Sunday and attend a memorial service for the victims on the city’s major church.

The Related Press contributed to this report.



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