A Clark County, Nevada, school district police officer fired pepper spray in every direction during a football field brawl after a divisive weekend high school football game.
After a contentious football game between Canyon Springs and Basic High Schools, which included 35 penalties, most of which were a result of personal fouls or unsportsmanlike conduct, players from both teams began fighting on the field.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that "tensions" between the rival football teams escalated throughout the game, and reached a boiling point after Canyon Springs' 20-15 victory over Basic High School.
According to the Review-Journal, four Canyon Springs players were ejected during the second half of the game.
Players from both teams began fighting on the field after the game ended, and according to the report, the fracas continued for approximately 30 seconds before the Clark County School District police officer intervened.
— Sam Gordon (@BySamGordon) September 16, 2017
What did the police say?
According to local ABC affiliate, 13 Action News, the school district police defended its use of pepper spray during the incident on the field and noted that the officer in question acted appropriately.
Capt. Ken Young of the CCSD police said that someone was being "stomped on" during the fight, which prompted them to "act quickly."
Were there any ramifications for the schools?
Both Canyon Springs and Basic High Schools were penalized one game as a result of the violent on-field scuffle.
Donnie Nelson — assistant director of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association — told the Las Vegas Sun that even though Canyon Springs won the game, the final result would be changed to a double forfeit.
"When three or more members of a team engage in a physical altercation, the team is guilty of committing an unsportsmanlike act," Nelson said.
Neither team will play on Saturday as a result of its behaviors.
"The NIAA is not the NFL, the NCAA or a club organization," Nelson added. "Adults failed in their responsibility to enforce the rules and regulations of the NIAA and the mission of education-based activities."
He concluded, "This was a high school football game. A high school game is an extension of the classroom and regrettably, the adults, based on their actions, fostered an environment that is not reflective of the mission of the NIAA member schools."
This writer's perspective
This isn't a shocking story at all when you look at it from a police perspective.
While many people would be keen to say that the officer acted with excessive force against high school students, the officer was simply doing his job. He was stationed at the football game to maintain the peace, and he did his job within justifiable means necessary.
As a result, his actions in breaking up the crowd hardly make him a "bad cop."