Austrian Faces Fine For Calling Police Officers ‘Smurfs’

Man claims it was a joke, not an insult

BERLIN (AP) — An Austrian man faces a 160-euro ($197) fine for describing police officers as “smurfs” in a warning about speed checks posted on Facebook.

The Austria Press Agency reported Tuesday that authorities in Tyrol province imposed the fine on the man, whose name wasn’t released, for violating “public decency” by “defaming two police officers.”

The man’s post in a Facebook group alerted others to “two smurfs standing with lasers” on a local highway. A police officer who was also in the group filed a complaint.

The local Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper reported that the man maintains the term “smurfs” was meant as a harmless joke rather than an insult, and plans to defend himself at regional police headquarters.