There’s a Dance You Haven’t Seen Before, Bob, Wanna Shoot It?

Police pepper-spray Polynesian dancers:

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 on Thursday night (local time), the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The group in Roosevelt, a town of 8000, had travelled more than 150 kilometres 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.

There are videos at the link of various hakas performed by rugby teams, and while I’d be slightly alarmed if someone, say, came into my living room and started one up, I’m somewhat puzzled by what kind of imminent threat it presented outdoors at a game.

A.

11 thoughts on “There’s a Dance You Haven’t Seen Before, Bob, Wanna Shoot It?

  1. Jay in Oregon says:

    I love watching the hakas the various rugby teams do, although I can totally get why they would alarm people. Shit, the wholepoint of a haka is to boost morale and rattle the other side. There’s a reason they make the throat-slitting gestures…
    Still, police pepper-spraying the dancers even after everyone said it was OK and there was nothing threatening is, sadly, what I’ve come to expect from the police nowadays. And I say this as the son oftwo state troopers.

  2. MapleStreet says:

    Uh, how was the Polynesian dance more disruptive than the normal cadre of fans at a football game?? And I **DO** use normal in a very loose sense of the word.

  3. MapleStreet says:

    Just thinking, don’t the Polynesian dances have religious overtones? Wonder if they could threaten the cops as both obviously overreacting, overreaching their authority, and suppression of civil rights?

  4. emptywheel says:

    When I moved to SLC UT from SF, having recently played club rugby, I told the managers at my company I used to play (they thought I was weird anyway, bc I was unmarried, non-Mormon, and probably a hippie), they very derisively said, “You can go play with the Tongans. They’re the only ones who play.”
    Tongans generally got converted into US–that is, converted to Mormonism by missionaries. But for some reason, at least when I was there (mid-90s), the Tongans were the only significant group of people of color aside from Native Americans.
    So yeah, this was probably racial.
    Also, like Samoans, Tongans tend to be pretty big, in my experience.

  5. jo6pac says:

    Just thinking, don’t the Polynesian dances have religious overtones? Wonder if they could threaten the cops as both obviously overreacting, overreaching their authority, and suppression of civil rights?
    MapleStreet
    Sorry but you are now in the new Amerika and this goes against everything they believe in here, there’s only 1 dog in this town.

  6. PWL says:

    …Time to pull out my copy of “Little Boys In Blue” by The Professionals…

  7. pansypoo says:

    anything ‘other’ is fodder.

  8. Snarki, child of Loki says:

    “I’m somewhat puzzled by what kind of imminent threat it presented outdoors at a game.”
    Oh, the threat of unleashing uncontrolled violence! Why, who can tell? Arugby game might break out. Shock, horror!

  9. And teachers grading papers at Occupy Wall Street were told“you can’t do that here.” Took six cops to make the teachers stop using those lethal red pencils.

  10. Oh, and here’s another one: San Jose cops shoot a Halloween partier passed out in a hotel stairwell; his “gun” waspainted gold with an orange tip, handle and trigger identifying it as a toy.
    But the dumbass cops shot the guy anyway because, “somebody might paint a real gun that way on purpose.”
    This police state RAWKS!

  11. MapleStreet says:

    SB, you’ve gotta be kidding on both of the above posts !!!
    How many Starbucks have I passed where the business community is blocking the sidewalk with their laptops open?
    And I take it that being passed out qualifies as resisting arrest? Otherwise, sitting there passed out sure sounds to me like he wasn’t waving the toy pistol.

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