Two Swedish police officers who appeared in a short film recently highlighted by Fox News ― which appeared to give the president of the United States the idea that the country was a crime-infested hot spot ― say their comments were misrepresented by filmmaker Ami Horowitz.
Horowitz (a former Huffington Post contributor) appeared on Fox News on Friday evening to talk about the film, “Stockholm Syndrome,” which portrays Sweden’s liberal immigration policies in a negative light. In one excerpt that aired during the segment on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” two police officers are interviewed about “violence spreading across Sweden into the cities” as a result of immigration.
”We were really caught off guard. We didn’t expect it to be so much increase,” one officer says in the film excerpt.
Avid cable news watcher President Donald Trump appears to have seen the clip and then cited it as evidence of the supposed dangers of admitting immigrants, particularly refugees.
“Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden,” Trump said during a rally in Florida on Saturday. “They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”
But the two officers told the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter that their comments were selectively edited by the filmmaker.
”It was supposed to be about crime in high risk areas. Areas with high crime rates. There wasn’t any focus on migration or immigration,” Anders Göranzon told the paper.
Göranzon said they were “answering completely different questions in the interview. This is bad journalism.”
“It feels like hell,” he went on. “The real questions should be shown along with our answers. We don’t own the rights to the film, but the end result is that we don’t want to talk to journalists after this. We can’t trust each other.”
Crime rates in Sweden have remained relatively flat over the past 10 years, according to the 2016 Swedish Crime Survey, even as the country has taken in hundreds of thousands of immigrants and refugees.
Horowitz suggested the officers, whom he praised as “courageous,” had been pressured to speak out against the film.
“They are both courageous police officers who are doing an incredible service to their community,” he told The Huffington Post in an email Monday. “I can only imagine how much pressure that must be under by their bosses.”
“If you watch the film most of our discussion is about violance [sic] and crime not immigration,” he went on. “When we did speak about immigration they used the words ‘no go zones’ and they spoke about the fear of bieng [sic] called a racist. Those were not words I put in their mouth.”
Trump on Monday accused the media of distorting Sweden’s immigration record.
This post has been updated to include Horowitz’s comments and to note that Horowitz is a former Huffington Post contributor.