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Utah officers feared riot when spraying dancers

ROOSEVELT, Utah (AP) - Police officers who pepper-sprayed a group performing a traditional Polynesian haka dance after a high school football game say their use of force was justified because they feared a riot was imminent.
ROOSEVELT, Utah (AP) - Police officers who pepper-sprayed a group performing a traditional Polynesian haka dance after a high school football game say their use of force was justified because they feared a riot was imminent.

The Deseret News reported Wednesday that the officers' reports about the Oct. 20 incident say some of the dancers had been yelling obscenities at referees during the game then danced in front of the only exit from the stadium.

Officer Luke Stradinger says he was not familiar with the dance.

He apologizes in his report for causing discomfort to innocent bystanders, including elderly fans and a 4-year-old boy.

The two officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing by an internal investigation.
     
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)





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