A police officer and local conservative politician who was fired after calling Labour Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg a “krapyl” (roughly equivalent to a piece of trash) now claims the police chief in his small town in eastern Norway is out to get him.
Stein-Robert Kleven Bergh from Eidskog in Hedmark County told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Monday morning that he thinks he lost his job for, among other things, writing on his Facebook page just before the summer holidays that “The piece of trash has ruled for eight years without doing anything other than neglecting the country.” He was dismissed on August 20, after 30 years on the police force, with his rant on Facebook cited as among the reasons.
“We have rules for the use of social media, and they include that you must show respect in all relations,” Tormod Bakke, chief of the Hedmark Police District, told newspaper Aftenposten. Calling the prime minister a “krapyl,” which can also equate to a punk or trouble-maker, “goes far beyond the limits” of what’s acceptable for police officers to express, Bakke said, adding the police officers “must portray loyalty to their superiors.” He said freedom of expression in Norway “has certain limits, especially for public servants.”
Bergh claims he was writing in his capacity as a local politician for the Progress Party and as a private person, not as a police officer. He also didn’t view his description of Stoltenberg as especially strong and claims the prime minister must tolerate such things.
He also maintains that his firing was politically motivated, writing on his Facebook profile that “the police chief is no supporter of the Progress Party” and was simply waiting for his chance to crack down on Bergh. Bakke flatly denied that politics had anything to do with it.