Utah officers cleared in spraying of haka dancers

The officers said the dancers were blocking an exit as players and game officials were trying to leave


By Josh Loftin
Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Police in a small Utah town say officers who pepper-sprayed a group performing a traditional Polynesian haka dance after a high school football game last month followed departmental policy and did not violate state law.

A report released Wednesday says that while the two Roosevelt, Utah officers could have chosen other ways to maintain security, spraying the dancers and using batons was not inappropriate. The officers said the dancers were blocking an exit as players and game officials were trying to leave.

The report says the dancers should have alerted police about their plans before going onto the field.

The group in Roosevelt, a town of 8,000, had traveled from the Salt Lake City area to watch a relative play his final game for Union, which lost to rival Uintah.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press


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