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Thread: Just Silly: Police pepper spray Haka dancers at football game

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Just Silly: Police pepper spray Haka dancers at football game

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    "Police in a small Utah town are being accused of overreacting after using pepper spray to break up a group of Polynesian men and boys performing a traditional dance called the Haka after a high school football game."

    Admittedly, not to smart of the dancers to block an exit. Still, "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."

    So the officers felt like they should break out the pepper spray, anyway? Did one of them need to use the restroom?

    I'm perplexed...
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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    "I asked nicely, now if you don't do what I demand, I'm going to cause you pain..... because I'm the only one professional enough to cause pain to another citizen and get away with it"... maybe?

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    There's a big difference between blocking an exit and performing as folks leave through the exit. Unfortunately we will probably never know which was the actual circumstance.

    But we sure know one more place where the cops insist on immediate and unquestioning obedience to everything they say, regardless of circumstances. Disagree with them at your own peril.

    But remember, citizen, it's for your safety.

    stay safe.
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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Certainly more information would be helpful. To me it looks like an over-reaction. The article says numerous people explained to the police what was going on. Even if they were inadvertently blocking an exit, I fail to see how firing pepper spray into a large crowd of innocent people is helpful to the situation.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    There is another way to look at this.

    Had a fire erupted in the stands and an immediate mass exodus of the area been necessary, or had someone collapsed in the stands with a stroke or heart attack and needed to be rushed away to the hospital, it would have been on the national news that a bunch of chest-beating, grimacing, "dancers" caused innocent people to perish because their manly displays of "victory" took the place of common courtesy and common sense.

    This is another case of a few exercising their "rights" at the expense of the freedom of others who wanted to exit the stadium and go home, but were unable to because the exits were blocked.
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    Founder's Club Member Jim675's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilProGuy View Post

    There is another way to look at this.

    Had a fire erupted in the stands and an immediate mass exodus of the area been necessary, or had someone collapsed in the stands with a stroke or heart attack and needed to be rushed away to the hospital, it would have been on the national news that
    a bunch of chest-beating, grimacing, "dancers" caused innocent people to perish because their manly displays of "victory" took the place of common courtesy and common sense.

    This is another case of a few exercising their "rights" at the expense of the freedom of others who wanted to exit the stadium and go home, but were unable to because the exits were blocked.
    True. If the situation had been different then the situation would have been different.

    No one was harmed by the dance. Spectators felt the police over-reacted. Coaches and players knew in advance and were OK with it.

    Damn these people thinking freedom means doing something without a permit. If a monster hurricane off of California had picked up a blue whale and propelled it toward the stadium and everyone knew it except the dancers who might have been deaf and not heard the crowd then many may have died.

    ETA: Enough with the not-too-subtle racism.
    Last edited by Jim675; 10-23-2011 at 06:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MilProGuy View Post

    There is another way to look at this.

    Had a fire erupted in the stands and an immediate mass exodus of the area been necessary, or had someone collapsed in the stands with a stroke or heart attack and needed to be rushed away to the hospital, it would have been on the national news that a bunch of chest-beating, grimacing, "dancers" caused innocent people to perish because their manly displays of "victory" took the place of common courtesy and common sense.

    This is another case of a few exercising their "rights" at the expense of the freedom of others who wanted to exit the stadium and go home, but were unable to because the exits were blocked.
    It was a small group of dancers, not a cement mixing truck chained to the gate posts.

    In case of emergency, or even for the sake of convenience, does it really matter if it was a dozen Haka dancers, or just a group of people who got to the gate first and are waiting to get through?

  8. #8
    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim675 View Post


    ETA: Enough with the not-too-subtle racism.
    I'm not a racist, and nothing in my remarks should be construed as racist, nor were they intended to be.
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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Yea because you know if there was a fire the dancers wouldn't have left. They would have just stayed in one place and blocked the exit.

    Overreaction by the guys in blue.

    And I'll wager there is more than one exit.
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  10. #10
    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter Venator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilProGuy View Post

    There is another way to look at this.

    Had a fire erupted in the stands and an immediate mass exodus of the area been necessary, or had someone collapsed in the stands with a stroke or heart attack and needed to be rushed away to the hospital, it would have been on the national news that a bunch of chest-beating, grimacing, "dancers" caused innocent people to perish because their manly displays of "victory" took the place of common courtesy and common sense.

    This is another case of a few exercising their "rights" at the expense of the freedom of others who wanted to exit the stadium and go home, but were unable to because the exits were blocked.
    A typical response for an apologist and for you. The government is there to help you, don't question, just assume it all for our safety, even if we have to make up a possible threat.
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    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilProGuy View Post
    I'm not a racist, and nothing in my remarks should be construed as racist, nor were they intended to be.
    Hate to say it, but you are a racist. Still not sure what he was talking about.

    At any rate, I'm not entirely sure they were blocking the exit, if they were, it was only one of many. They also would have gotten out of the way. No one here would be taking their side if they were blocking the exit during an emergency and I'm sure there are those that would even advocate deadly force depending on the severity of the emergency.

    At the end of the day, they were not harming anyone, we're still not sure if they actually blocked the exit, our were just next to it. The police overreacted.


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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark
    But we sure know one more place where the cops insist on immediate and unquestioning obedience to everything they say, regardless of circumstances.
    Is there any place or circumstance they don't?

    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner
    Yea because you know if there was a fire the dancers wouldn't have left.
    And I'll wager there is more than one exit.
    +1 on both.

    Sounds like there wasn't a problem 'til the police intervened in a non-problem.
    But if the guys were actually blocking the gate, next time they should perform to one side.
    Or both sides.
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  13. #13
    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack House View Post
    Hate to say it, but you are a racist. Still not sure what he was talking about.

    Nothing in my remarks about the dancers were racist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim675 View Post
    True. If the situation had been different then the situation would have been different.

    No one was harmed by the dance. Spectators felt the police over-reacted. Coaches and players knew in advance and were OK with it.

    Damn these people thinking freedom means doing something without a permit. If a monster hurricane off of California had picked up a blue whale and propelled it toward the stadium and everyone knew it except the dancers who might have been deaf and not heard the crowd then many may have died.

    ETA: Enough with the not-too-subtle racism.
    You obviously don't have a clue about what type of dance they were doing. His description was accurate and not racist. I don't know if he is racist and normally makes racist remarks, but in this case it was a description well used. Perhaps trying to jump on someone too easily for being racist is racist in itself at times.

  15. #15
    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mohawk001 View Post
    You obviously don't have a clue about what type of dance they were doing. His description was accurate and not racist. I don't know if he is racist and normally makes racist remarks, but in this case it was a description well used. Perhaps trying to jump on someone too easily for being racist is racist in itself at times.
    It certainly can be! I detest the term racist and racism. I think too much attention is drawn to race where it shouldn't be. Especially by groups like the NAACP. A group I have a very low opinion of.

    However in this instance, MilProGuy has shown numerous times to be quite racist. I think the one calling him a racist was overreacting in this case. I certainly saw nothing racist about his post. The accuser probably just associated his description of the dance with his previous posts about those mid eastern descent.

    Again, it is an overreaction for sure, but I can hardly hold that against him.

    That said, I do not favor attacking someone where unnecessary. So I do defend him here, his statements in this thread, in my opinion, did not appear to have any racial undertone, meaning or influence.


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    Last edited by Jack House; 10-24-2011 at 03:13 PM.

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    Youtube to the rescue: there is video!

    From "Make a hole!" to spraying OC was less than 20 seconds.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv3yL1yNSUQ

  17. #17
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    Youtube to the rescue: there is video!

    From "Make a hole!" to spraying OC was less than 20 seconds.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv3yL1yNSUQ
    It also looks like they did move from being against the wall to being in the center of the area. As I did not see anybody trying to get past them I can't say for sure, still, if they were blocking the exit or not.

    "Make a hole" may be a phrase that folks who served in certain branches of the military might understand, but it seems most likely to be a confusing instruction in this case where "Clear the exit" or "Move back against the wall" might have been better choices. Nor does either cop I could see appear to be attempting to use any action to move the performers from the center of the area. (And yes, I would expect them to attempt to wade into the front rank and spread people apart. Only if they were met by resistance/opposition would I consider the use of chemicals or pain compliance to be warranted. This is based on 30+ years of crowd-control experience and instruction in same.)

    This is why audio (or better yet, video) recordings can be so helpful to either/both sides. Barring a better view of the scene I'm inclined to suggest that anybody wanting to get past could have moved between the individuals performing the haka, and thus that the exit was congested as opposed to being blocked. The performers in the front did not appear to have difficulty moving away from the pepper spray, which supports a conclusion that the exit was congested but not blocked.

    Now I'll sit back and let those directly involved sort it out.

    stay safe.
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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    Youtube to the rescue: there is video!

    From "Make a hole!" to spraying OC was less than 20 seconds.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv3yL1yNSUQ
    I saw two people walk through the crowd unimpeded. I didn't see anyone else trying to leave or being blocked from leaving. The video is poorly shot so it is hard to tell.

    I still want to know why the officers didn't listen to the students, parents, faculty, or coaches who apparently tried to explain what was going on.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mohawk001 View Post
    You obviously don't have a clue about what type of dance they were doing. His description was accurate and not racist. I don't know if he is racist and normally makes racist remarks, but in this case it was a description well used. Perhaps trying to jump on someone too easily for being racist is racist in itself at times.
    Nothing in my remarks about the "dancers" was racist in nature.

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  20. #20
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Let's talk a little about "racism" and cultural appropriation...

    The Haka is a Maori ritual dance which originated in New Zealand.

    The people performing the dance at this game were Tongan.

    The Tongan people have never performed the Haka, and don't really even have a dance the remotely resembles it.

    If we want to talk about racism, and racial insensitivity, then these young men performing a dance from another culture because they might remotely pass for Maori is the height of racist, and would be considered by some to be the height of culturally insensitive appropriation.

    That is perhaps not enough to warrant being pepper sprayed and beaten, but it is a little sketchy from a cultural and ethnic point of view.

    Also, the Haka is usually performed BEFORE important events--battles, funerals, weddings, choosing/installing tribal leaders, etc. It is meant to serve multiple purposes--to frighten away evil spirits, to bring favor of the gods on those performing, to honor ancestors, and to intimidate opponents.

    Doing a Haka AFTER a sporting event--especially when the performing team lost--isn't really in the spirit of what the Haka is all about.

    I'm not saying that these people deserved to be pepper sprayed and beaten, but they certainly were not honoring the tradition and spirit of the Haka in any way with this performance.
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    Founder's Club Member Jim675's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    Let's talk a little about "racism" and cultural appropriation...

    SNIP... The Haka is a Maori ritual dance which originated in New Zealand... SNIP
    Other probably true stuff...
    Isn't that the nature of how any local custom spreads either geographically or across generations? The new followers of the custom do it a little bit "wrong" according the originators? Whether it be dance, language, martial arts, or religious observances?

    For MilProGuy - If my reference to racism was off the mark I apologize.

    What drew my attention was the phrase "a bunch of chest-beating, grimacing, "dancers"". To me, this seemed similar to every generation's grandparents sneeringly referring to the "music" these youngsters listen to nowadays. The quote marks imply disdain. Had they performed a classical ballet at the exit instead would you have accepted that it was a dance, instead of a bunch of guys "dancing"? Would the police still be justified in your eyes?

    To me this resembles the so many other discussions I see on this board. The way some CCers refer to OCers, for instance. Southerners to Yankees, or hip holsters to thigh rigs, etc....

    It smacks of baseless intolerance. You may now go about your "posting" without further interruption.

  22. #22
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsd View Post
    Certainly more information would be helpful. To me it looks like an over-reaction. The article says numerous people explained to the police what was going on. Even if they were inadvertently blocking an exit, I fail to see how firing pepper spray into a large crowd of innocent people is helpful to the situation.
    It matters little that it was ok with most of the other folks there. What matters is they were illegally blocking the exit to a stadium full of people.

    While I agree they overreacted, they did attempt to get them to move, first: "The police action came after a pair of officers unsuccessfully attempted to disperse the dozen or so performers who were blocking an exit..."

    If the dancers had simply moved aside while continuing to dance, I seriously doubt anything would have come of it. I agree with MilProGuy: "This is another case of a few exercising their "rights" at the expense of the freedom of others who wanted to exit the stadium and go home, but were unable to because the exits were blocked." Or as my father used to say, "Swing your cat as much as you want. Just don't let it get in anyone else's way."
    Last edited by since9; 10-26-2011 at 08:52 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    It matters little that it was ok with most of the other folks there. What matters is they were illegally blocking the exit to a stadium full of people.

    While I agree they overreacted, they did attempt to get them to move, first: "The police action came after a pair of officers unsuccessfully attempted to disperse the dozen or so performers who were blocking an exit..."
    You didn't watch the video, did you?

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    double tap
    Last edited by KBCraig; 10-27-2011 at 03:49 AM. Reason: duplicate

  25. #25
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    You didn't watch the video, did you?
    Or read the other posts where folks offered observations and opinions about why they did not consider the exit blocked, and then refute it with your own observations and opinions?

    I'm not saying I/we are right. But at least "we" took the time to try and explain our reason for saying what we did and pointing out the evidence we relied on in reaching that conclusion. All I can get from your comment is that you think the exit was blocked because someone else says it was blocked, and it appears you totally discounted conflicting opinions without bothering to explain why those opinions are, in you opinion, wrong.

    If it were not an ad hominem attack I'd nominate you for wisest person on earth.

    stay safe.
    Last edited by skidmark; 10-27-2011 at 06:58 AM. Reason: dropped important comment.
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