Police beats up firefighter trying to help unconscious man
07:39, 24. dec 2012 Jan Søgaard
John Bjørkman (Bjorkman), 28, part-time firefighter and paramedic at Sorø (Soro) Fire Department, winces. His torso is covered in yellow and blue bruises from police batons, and he is shocked by the behavior of the police.
He was about to give first aid to an unconscious carpenter apprentice on the floor at the bar 'Joe's Garage' in Slagelse, when police crashed through the door after receiving a call a fight had broken out.
An officer began to beat up John Bjørkman from behind with his baton, while the fireman sat hunched over apprentice who had difficulty breathing. Apparently the police had thought that the two were in a fight, but John Bjørkman had put the apprentice in the recovery position and shook him to get him to consciousness.
- I had called 1-1-2 (911) and asked for an ambulance. He was breathing irregularly and was unconscious. Then the police come in, pulls me away from him, pulls me out the door and handcuff on the cold sidewalk, says John Bjørkman.
The skilled carpenter should have been on firewatch at Christmas at Soro Fire Department, but had to call in sick:
- I have a very sore right hand and bruises all over. I cannot lift anything and almost sat upright sleeping, he says.
Found unconscious in the rest room
He had been to a company Christmas dinner and bowling with 13 colleagues and carpenter Lars Olsen, 32, when five of the men from the dinner decided to end the party at 'Joe's Garage' Friday night. The apprentice Rene Jensen, 20, disappeared suddenly from the company, and John Bjørkman and Lars Olsen found him unconscious in the rest room. They got him out on the floor, and John Bjørkman started giving him help.
- But some biker types began to act up and wanted him to be carried out on the street, so their party wouldn’t be disturbed. John refused it, wisely enough. The apprentice should not be out in the cold. He rolled around and vomited at the same time, tells his boss Lars Olsen.
- John said, make room! I'm a firefighter, explains Lars Olsen.
-But some of the guests started beating on John Bjørkman and grab Lars Olsen, but was pushed away, so the fireman could get room to give aid him.
- I was worried about his breathing, said John Bjørkman. Meanwhile, the police were dispatched, and the fireman didn’t notice them before getting several baton blows.
-This is not okay
- John sat with his back to the front door when an officer began to beating him. This is simply not okay, says carpenter Lars Olsen, has now contacted the firms lawyer to make a complaint over their treatment by the police.
-The first two officers grabbed the tattooed bar guests who had tried to prevent John Bjørkman in helping the carpenter apprentice.
- I thought, everything was fine when the police arrived, to calm the situation down. But then a third officer storms through the door and go straight to John beating him says carpenter Lars Olsen.
He even got five to six baton blows to his arm as he tried to explain to the officer the situation
- It is a Falck (the company) rescue worker, I said several times to the officer and explained that they were my employees, says Lars Olsen. He was then handcuffed and thrown on the stomach into a police car. Afterwards the police drove Lars Olsen to a gas station and dropped him off.
Patrick Søndergaard (Sondergaard) was a guest at the bar: - There was no sign of any kind of trouble at the bar all were in a good mood. Police completely overreacted. It was frightening to see. They grabbed both hands on the firefighter and the unconscious man and pulled them both out on the sidewalk, he says to ekstrabladet.dk.
When Patrick Søndergaard protested against the police actions and behavior, he received a clear verbal warning: - Shut up or you will kiss the asphalt.
All released shortly after
Peter Aaskov who also was a bar visitor and on the way out to smoke when he was arrested and handcuffed next to the fire fighter:
- Police treatment was completely out of hand. I didn’t see any damn trouble anywhere, and was on my way out to smoke when I'm all of a sudden being ripped off at the bridge averages and handcuffed. When you ask about what you have done, you get a cop's knee pressed into your face deliberately along with the phrase: 'You fuckin' shut up ', writes Peter Aaskov on facebook.
All detainees were released soon after their arrest, but they were told that they can look forward to fines for public disorder.
South Zealand and Lolland-Falster police department. Officer Ove Christoffersen confirms, the police sent several police units to 'Joe's Garage' in Slagelse after receiving a call about a bar brawl.
- It is written as an 'incident' in the report, but there is no information that is used batons or that anyone had been arrested, says security chief. He points out that one must appeal, ‘via the usual channels’ if you think that the police behavior can be criticized.
No good deed goes unpunished. Were not supposed to help one another, thats big brothers job. Anyone breaking this rule with be dealt with using extreme force and prejudice...
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