Friday, October 21, 2011

Small town police with equally small brains

High school football. Losing team. Big game against area rivals. The team loses the game. Heartbroken, they begin walking off the field towards the locker room. The team's families are lined up against the fence forming a tunnel and showing their support, win or lose. A Polynesian family is at the end of the tunnel and begins performing a haka to show their love, respect, and support for their son/brother/nephew/cousin and his teammates. In their own way, telling the team, "No matter what, we love you. You've played a hard game and lost but it's okay! Chin up! Be proud of yourselves."

Then a couple of police officers ask the family to move and make room for the players to pass. The other families lining the fence tell the officers that it's okay and to let the family finish their haka. What happens? The police begin spraying pepper spray. Fathers, mothers, children, all sprayed directly in the face and people in the vicinity catching spatters. Eyes burning, people screaming, utter chaos ensuing. Now an investigation is in progress.

Really? Officers? Did you REALLY feel the need to spray pepper spray? Have you been living in a cave in the middle of the Sahara desert? Or living in an underwater community with no ties to the outside world? Have you never watched the All Blacks rugby team? You Tubed the many haka's performed on the football/rugby/playing field? Have you not been living in Utah, with one of the largest Polynesian populations in the United States? Did you think to take a step back and maybe ASK what they were doing if your caveman brain couldn't process the information? Really? I have two words for you: Cultural Competency.

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