Utah Police Use Pepper Spray on Students After High School Football Game [VIDEO]
Police in Utah are under fire for their use of pepper spray to control a crowd of students who performed a tribal dance at the end of a high school football game, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
The video is a little shaky as it was clearly shot by a spectator’s phone, but shows a group of students and other members of the crowd blocking the exit of the field to perform the Haka, a Polynesian war dance made popular by the New Zealand rugby team the All Blacks (see above photo).
I’m not condoning the officer’s decision to use pepper spray, however if I may play devil’s advocate for just a second, the people performing the dance are blocking players from what I assume is the opposing team from leaving the field AND the officers do ask the crowd to “make a hole” on two different occasions before resorting to the pepper spray. On the flip side, you see security people and police clearing crowds for high-profile people all the time on TV by simply leading the way and pushing people to either side so it’s hard to say if the officers in the video were right or wrong. Perhaps they saw the dance as some type of gang activity as many of the participants are dressed similarly.
I will say it does come off as an angry looking dance as you’ll see in the video below from the aforementioned New Zealand All Blacks rugby team. I wouldn’t want to stick around to find out what happens if a group of people did this right in front of me.
Until the officers in question release statements (and who knows if they will or will even be allowed to by their department), we may never know the reason that decided to take the action they did. In the meantime, I want to know what you think. Did the cops overreact or were they merely doing their job?