Migrant Tales’ response to the Helsinki police service’s actions at the Puhos shopping center

by , under Enrique Tessieri

The Helsinki police service tweeted today that 260 people were spot checked at the Puhos shopping center of Eastern Helsinki on Saturday where two people with warrants for their arrest and two “illegal” or undocumented migrants were apprehended. The number of people arrested by the police was a mere 1.5% of all those they spot checked. 

The Helsinki police tweeted as well that those that were spot checked weren’t registered as alleged by Migrant Tales. They also said, as we know, carry out similar spot checks at different shopping centers elsewhere.

The Helsinki police claim that both Finns and foreigners were spot checked. We do not know, however, how many white Finns were stopped and if those Finns they stopped were second-generation or naturalized Finns.

Considering that people from the Middle East and countries like Somali visit the Puhos shopping center and that they are vulnerable visible migrants and minorities who suffer from high unemployment and social exclusion, it is odd that the police would claim as in a statement that the spot checks were “done in very good spirits.”

Who likes to be stopped by the police? What about if you are a person who comes from a war zone? Would you be happy if the police, National Border Guards, Regional State Administrative Agencies (AVI), Customs, Rescue Department, and City of Helsinki health inspectors stopped you?

Speaking for myself, I would not like to be stopped by the police even if I don’t have anything to hide. I lived in Argentina during the dirty war (1976-83), when over 30,000 people vanished thanks to state terrorism. I am still traumatized by those years.

I was alerted by a Migrant Tales reporter while at a meeting in Brussels. The whole operation clearly upset him like it must have many others.

Here is a question to the Helsinki police service: How many black police officials were present on Saturday? Were all the National Border Guards white? Were there any officials who were visible minorities who carried out the spot checks? Were there any Muslims among their ranks?

Modernizing the police service to represent as well the population of Helsinki would instill trust rather than erode it.

Read original tweets here.

While it is a good matter that the Helsinki police service is accountable for its actions, the tweets say nothing about the police’s alleged behavior at the mosque. Why did they spot check everyone who entered and left the mosque? What about the police dog and the shoes? There is no tweet about a policeman who allegedly snapped back and said that “this was his country” and that he had a right to ask the person for his ID.

What would happen if the police carried out spot checks at the Helsinki Synagogue? Would they even consider such a thing?

Moreover, one Somali called Appa asked the police if he could film him while he was at the door of the mosque. The policeman said he had no right to film him even if he is a public official.

We have seen white Finns from far-right groups like Finland First film police and insulted them in public. Nobody stopped them from filming the police, but a black Somali doesn’t have such a right to film the police.

How can the police and other officials build trust with members of those communities that they spot checked Saturday?

Answering that question could go a long way in building trust.

Was it all worth it to only apprehend 4 suspects?

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    Finnish police is liar, they always do whatever they want against a foreigner, specially this is a best opportunity for them to attack muslims and asylum, refugees,… because in this case law in Finland will support them and even court and judge will be proud of them.

    I just wish to dont see any police around me or on my way to work and coming back home. i do not like look at their faces, their harsh hateful eneregy makes me to take distance when i see them in streets. i feel warning when i see their cars, i get stress, my blood is boiling…

    Terror is not possible with peace and smile !
    Lie after lie, finnish police is a racist number one in the world.
    Nobody likes what they done in Puhos? it is a terror and a terrorism behaviour, those foreigners had no more choice, they been in trap, what they could do when racist polices with guns and angry faces are around them, polices have gun, dogs… ofcourse foreigners will show their ID, because they all afraid, sure, because we have no support in this country, we are really alone in this dark land, we never feel safe in this country.
    Why they are not checking Finnish people? there are lots of yellow skin in streets, why they do not check them, why they never ask them for their ID? but only us ?

    And why should we carry our ID all the time in our bag? what if we keep it at home, we do not want lose it, so will police will let us go if we say its not with me?
    They will attack you, they will take your bag, they will open your bag and they will check everything without your permission, ask me, just ask me this things ! and then they will write a report against you, then sakko and penalty, but not easy like this, first they will hit you, they will catch you, they will keep you in a cell and then after hours and hours waiting, argue, calling bad names, and insult, you will get a big amount of penalty.

    So how many times they done that with own yellow skin people?

    Muslim people have law for themselves, mosque is an important place for them, no one can go in with shoes and dogs, police has no write to insult them ! it is not disco and beer, it is a place for pray !
    Appa has no right to film a yellow racist police, but police has right to insult him and people from his country just because tehy are muslim and different in colour ?

    Why and why they check us all the time? they never say why? and you can not ask why?

    What was their reason?

    Oh okay, they want show us power, oh power, being strong is coming from brain, ideas, not from gun and dogs and uniform !

    You racist polices have no power on us, you are all nothing, you are like mouse without that uniform and gun !

    We can not stop terror attack, Finnish police is bully, racist and mentaly sick !

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    Sauli Niinistö, Jenni Haukio ja vauva poistuivat sairaalasta – Jenni Haukio: ”Voin hyvin!”
    Oh yes voin hyvin, what about attacking muslims in mosque? voin hyvin??? attacking humanity? oh voin hyvin


    When polices are busy with terror attack against poor muslims . Finnish media is busy with baby and dictator king and queen.

    Not even one noraml journalist in Finland ?

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    Ooops Yossie! romantic sensitive lovable bully, so what is love? you teach us about love if you can, and if you know nothing then go and ask dogs!