Utah deputy who handcuffed black teen at basketball game will be investigated, sheriff says

USA Utah News

The Utah County Sheriff says an investigation will be conducted to determine why one of his deputies handcuffed a black teenager who was sitting in the wrong section at a high school basketball game.

“A deputy should never have been called to that,” Sheriff Mike Smith told FOX 13. “As a parent, I would be upset if that was my child. I would… but to instantly take this to racism? I think it’s inappropriate.”

The game was Jan. 17 at Cedar Valley High School in Eagle Mountain. The student arrested was a junior varsity basketball player from Ben Lomond High School in Ogden.

FOX 13 reported administrators were upset he was sitting in the wrong section of the gym while watching the varsity basketball game. They called a school resource officer to remove him.

Witnesses recorded video of the deputy leading the student out of the gym. The video shows the teenager in handcuffs and sitting outside against the building.

The student was not cited. He was given a warning.

Tanoka Beard, the basketball coach at Ben Lomond and who played at Boise State University and in European professional leagues, wrote online that race was a factor in the way the case was handled.

“It’s just saddening and disgusting that there is still racial disharmony in 2020,” Beard wrote on Facebook.

Jer Bates, the director of communications for the Ogden School District, released a statement to FOX 13. The statement said Ben Lomond administrators had met with the student and Beard.

“We want to discover everything that did happen,” the statement said, “we want to correct any wrongs that might have happened and we want to work with our school, the host school Cedar Valley High School and all law enforcement to do everything we can to make sure we don’t find students or visiting students in situations like this in the future.”

The Salt Lake Tribune and FOX 13 are content-sharing partners.

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