Iceland grieves after police kill a man for the first time in its history
December 5, 2013
It was an unprecedented headline in Iceland this week — a man shot to death by police.
"The nation was in shock. This does not happen in our country," said Thora Arnorsdottir, news editor at RUV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.
She was referring to a 59-year old man who was shot by police on Monday. The man, who started shooting at police when they entered his building, had a history of mental illness.
It’s the first time someone has been killed by armed police in Iceland since it became an independent republic in 1944. Police don’t even carry weapons, usually. Violent crime in Iceland is almost non-existent.
"The nation does not want its police force to carry weapons because it’s dangerous, it’s threatening," Arnorsdottir says. "It’s a part of the culture. Guns are used to go hunting as a sport, but you never see a gun."
In fact, Iceland isn’t anti-gun. In terms of per-capita gun ownership, Iceland ranks 15th in the world. Still, this incident was so rare that neighbors of the man shot were comparing the shooting to a scene from an American film.
The Icelandic police department said officers involved will go through grief counseling. And the police department has already apologized to the family of the man who died — though not necessarily because they did anything wrong.
"I think it’s respectful," Arnorsdottir says, “because no one wants to take another person’s life. “
There are still a number of questions to be answered, including why police didn’t first try to negotiate with man before entering his building.
"A part of the great thing of living in this country is that you can enter parliament and the only thing they ask you to do is to turn off your cellphone, so you don’t disturb the parliamentarians while they’re talking. We do not have armed guards following our prime minister or president. That’s a part of the great thing of living in a peaceful society. We do not want to change that. "
okay I apologize ahead of time to all my followers who are tired of listening to me ramble about Iceland
BUT THIS IS WHY I FUCKING LOVE ICELAND
POLICE OFFICERS DIDN’T EVEN START CARRYING HAND GUNS UNTIL 2011
THESE PEOPLE ARE SO PEACEFUL THAT THEY GRIEVE FOR A CRIMINAL
BECAUSE THEY KNOW HE’S MORE THAN A MAN WITH A GUN
HE WAS A HUMAN BEING WITH A LIFE AND FAMILY WITH EMOTIONS AND THOUGHTS OF HIS OWN
AND INSTEAD OF CLAIMING VICTORY
THE MEN INVOLVED IN THIS ARE DEVASTATED BY WHAT HAPPENED
BECAUSE THEY UNDERSTAND IT WAS ANOTHER HUMAN
THEY’RE SUCH FUCKING PEACEFUL PEOPLE AND THEY HAVE BEAUTIFUL SCENERY AND FOR ALL YOU PERVY PEEPS OUT THERE THEY EVEN HAVE A FUCKING PENIS MUSEUM
THESE PEOPLE ARE LOVELY
THEY’RE LGBT+ FRIENDLY. GAY RIGHTS? GOT ‘EM.
THEY’RE FOR GENDER EQUALITY. WOMEN? JUST AS EQUAL AS MEN.
THEY’RE THE GREATEST OKAY
SO IF YOU DON’T LIKE ICELAND YOU NEED TO RE-EVALUATE YOUR LIFE CHOICES
BECAUSE LOOK AT THIS ARTICLE
AND TELL ME THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT THE MOST WARM-HEARTED, THOUGHTFUL PEOPLE YOU’VE EVER WITNESSED