The tale of the sleeping Bulgarian policemen

photograph a policeman facebook group

It all started back in July…

Once upon a time, in the seaside city of Varna, three Bulgarian policemen were on patrol in their car. As it was a hot day in July, the trio felt exhausted after a hard morning’s work.

So they decided it was time for a nice little nap, and parked up under the welcome shade of a tree. They were all soon fast asleep.

Along came Boyan, a citizen of the town. Although, by all police accounts, he was rather a ne’er-do-well, he was upset (to say the least) to see our heroes sleeping while on duty. So he took a photo as they snored, and went on his way.

Having some time on his hands and feeling a little bored (according to Kalinka, a police spokesperson), Boyan started a Facebook page called “Photograph a Policeman”.[1] He invited other exasperated Bulgarians to add their own pictures of the frequent annoying and illegal antics of the peerless “men in blue”. He also sent the photo to a national TV channel.

And that’s when his real troubles began, according to him. After publishing his photo online, Boyan was interviewed by the police, and claims he has since been harassed on a regular basis, being stopped on several occasions and even fined for not carrying his ID card while emptying the trash.[2]

The official explanation for our dozing musketeers was that they were on their legitimate 30-minute lunch break. As one wag pointed out on Facebook, who was going to wake them up on time to resume their arduous duties?

A long time later – in mid-October, to the astonishment of Kalinka’s top boss, the Minister of the Interior, she had a rant on TV, accusing our hero Boyan of being “a red-neck idiot, who has nothing to do and is bored”. The big minister said he thought the incident was over long ago, and described Kalinka’s behaviour as “intolerable”.[3]

PM Borisov then jumped into the fray and, in his usual macho fashion, demanded Kalinka’s resignation for violating the police Code of Ethics. And so, she cleared her desk, dismissed from her position as Varna’s police spokesperson.

photograph a policemen facebook group

What a bunch of cards!

And what of citizen Boyan? It seems he was known to the police, even before his defining Kodak moment: he has been, it is alleged, involved in criminal activities such as illegal drug possession and owning a dangerous dog, and is due to appear in court in November, accused of inflicting bodily harm.

I’m sure he’ll have a scrupulously fair trial.

The moral of this story? Well, you choose!

Whatever Boyan’s record of behaviour, I bet he wishes he’d “let sleeping police lie”, as the old proverb (almost) goes.

But – good for him! He provoked a significant outcry about something we all witness regularly – the breath-taking arrogance (and law-breaking) of too many Bulgarian policemen who seem to believe that, as uniformed official law-enforcers, they have special privileges to do just as they like.

photograph a policeman facebook group

Well, the space was empty!

And the sequel?

Boyan Maximov’s Facebook page now has more than 11,200 followers.[3]

The interior ministry said it was aware of the page and that most of the pictures were old (so, not all of them, then?).

Ominously, “The Interior Ministry’s inspectorate obtained information about the creation of this group and is checking the photos and the comments that have been published,” a spokeswoman – but not Kalinka – stated.

Oh yes, it also appears that PM Borisov is godparent to Kalinka Pencheva’s son… [4]

There’s no word, however, about the three nodding policemen who caused all this fuss.

[1]: Facebook: “Photograph a Policeman / снимай полицай”

[2]: Reuters

[3]: Sofia News Agency

[4]: Sofia News Agency

Images: Facebook

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