Your web-browser is very outdated, and as such, this website may not display properly. Please consider upgrading to a modern, faster and more secure browser. Click here to do so.
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.