Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

Video: Utah police who pepper sprayed Haka dancers are cleared

Police in Utah will not face punishment for using pepper spray and batons on a group of Polynesian spectators performing the Haka war dance at a high school football game.

Uintah County Attorney Mark Thomas said it was a misunderstanding due to cultural differences and no criminal charges were warranted.

Officers used pepper spray on about a dozen Polynesian men and boys who formed the traditional dance in October after their home town favourite lost a football game in Roosevelt, east of Salt Lake City.

Mr Thomas opened an investigation in December at the request of the Utah chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union after an internal police investigation found the officers' actions were justified.



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