For New Yorkers: This Sunday at 3pm is a silent march against the stop-and-frisk policy in NYC. As communities of color, we support one another! See you there :)
The two officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing by an internal investigation.
The pepper spray was used on about a dozen people who had traveled about 125 miles from Salt Lake City to watch a relative play his final game for Union, which lost the game to rival Uintah and finished the season without a victory.
Afterward, the group performed the haka to boost the player’s spirits.
A form of the haka has been popularized by rugby players in New Zealand who chant, beat their chests and gesture aggressively before matches.
The Maori tradition also can include fierce facial expressions. The haka is now performed at football and rugby games around the world.
Stradinger said he wasn’t familiar with the dance and was concerned because the group was blocking the only exit from the field for the football teams.
"I have never seen such an event, or even heard of such a thing," Stradinger said.
So let me get this straight. Officer Luke Stradinger (the sprayer) used a violent and dangerous form of riot control because he was faced with a cultural dance that he was unfamiliar with? And Officer Wade Butterfield was not in the wrong at all when he used his baton to strike some of the dancers who he accused of standing in a “fighting stance”?
Something seems off about this. Although there will be no criminal charges brought upon the officers, the police in the town will be given “additional training” on culture and diversity.
Flyer distributed at the October 22nd march in NYC.
I have issues with this.
On one hand, I fully support bringing attention to these possibly racially-motivated crimes. On the other hand, police brutality and individual mistakes should not be switched back and forth.
In the case of Kok Hoe Tee, an 85-YEAR OLD police officer (who lets 85 year olds drive anymore?!) was driving a van and lost control, hitting Tee in the process. The police officer in question, Shuck Seid, was a civic leader in Chinatown.
I have nothing to defend in the case of Wu Yizhou. That was disgusting and a horrible example of NYPD’s violent tendencies towards the unarmed and innocent. Some of you may not be familiar with the case, where six NYPD officers pinned the 64-year old down after noise complaints at Columbus Park in Chinatown. He was beaten and the witnesses threatened with further violence and use of pepper spray. There was a video taken from a cell phone here:
The 2003 case of Cau Thi Bich Tran did not receive the amount of attention and outrage it deserves. After calling 911 because her child had locked themselves in a room, the police showed up and fatally shot Tran. According to reports, she had been speaking Vietnamese and did not seem to understand the instructions the police had given her. Because she was gesturing to the door and attempting to explain the situation while holding a vegetable peeler, the San Jose officer Chad Marshall somehow deemed it appropriate to shoot her in the chest. You can read more on it here.
And oh God the Yong Xin Huang case from ‘95. That was bad. That was really bad. Yes, the police can be overly brutal and violent with a tendency to go after minorities. Let us ask why though?
Is it because of the staining fear that if we speak out against authority figures we will be sent back to our country? Is it because some White Americans still believe that their race is superior and that all people of color should therefore be obedient? Is it because we as Asian Americans come off as “easy targets” because we don’t carry the same (and inaccurate) aggressive stereotypes as other minorities? Is it because Asian males have been stripped of their masculinity and sexuality and power by western media, and therefore there is no one to “protect” our people?
Police! Y U SO BRUTAL?!
This is horrifying. Apparently after a football game, a group of men/boys performed a haka (polynesian dance) to support their team. The police for some reason were provoked into using mace, batons, and physical force.
The person who posted the video says:
At the Union High School football game in Roosevelt Utah. These polynesian boys had traveled to Roosevelt to support family members that were playing on the team. after a game well played but our team still lost. these family members got together and decided to perform the haka for the team to boost their morale and show them we support them. So the boys waited for everyone to get off the field and all that were left on the field was our team and the opposing team that was on the other side of the field in their team huddle. so as our team was walking up the fans started performing the haka….. everyone was enjoying it and watching. as soon as the police officer said to make a hole parents, players and coaches were telling the police officers that it was okay to let them finish. but as the video shows the police didn’t care and still pulled out mace and batons and used it on the boys. children, elderly, and others were sprayed. this was a huge overreaction by the police and physical force was not needed since these boys/men were not threatening ANYONE!!
The police action came after a pair of officers unsuccessfully attempted to disperse the dozen or so performers who were blocking an exit after the Union-Uintah game Thursday night, theDeseret News and Salt Lake Tribune reported.
A form of the Haka has been popularized by rugby players in New Zealand who chant, beat their chests and gesture aggressively before matches. The Maori tradition also can include fierce facial expressions. Haka are now performed at football and rugby games around the world.
The group in Roosevelt, a town of 8,000, had traveled about 125 miles east from the Salt Lake City area to watch a relative play his final game for Union, which lost to rival Uintah and finished the season without a victory.
The group reportedly was trying to boost Union’s morale with the Haka as the players left the field.
Spectators, coaches and players told police that everything was fine and they should let the men perform, Jessica Rasmussen said, but officers asked them to make room and started using pepper spray.
Rasmussen said she and other bystanders also got spray in their eyes, ears and mouths.
Union fan Jason Kelly said the way police reacted was an embarrassment to the community of Roosevelt.
"I’ve never seen anything like it," Kelly said. "It was totally unprovoked."
Police said the incident is under investigation, and anyone wanting to lodge a complaint should contact the department.