High school football game between Sac High, Kennedy High canceled amid safety concerns

The Sacramento Unified School District says this Friday's high school football game between Sacramento High School and Kennedy High School has been canceled following an incident at a Sacramento High School game last week where fans fought and pepper sprayed was used by law enforcement to diffuse the situation.

The Sacramento Unified School District says this Saturday, Sept. 23's high school football game between Sacramento High School and Kennedy High School has been canceled following an incident at a Sacramento High School game last week where fans fought and pepper spray was used by law enforcement to diffuse the situation.

On Sept. 15, a Los Rios police officer pepper sprayed the crowd at the game between Sacramento High and Folsom High after a fight broke out between attendees. ABC10 News video showed both the altercation and the pepper spraying incident, which occurred during the second quarter of the game at Sacramento City College's Hughes Stadium.

Now, almost a week after the incident, Sacramento Unified School District Communications Director Alex Barrios said the game has been canceled this Saturday between Sac High and Kennedy High after the district consulted law enforcement, who expressed potential threats to players and fans if the game was to happen this weekend. Security issues were presented and officials didn't feel comfortable moving forward with the game, Barrios said.

However, according to Will DeBoard from the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Office, Kennedy technically forfeited the game over safety issues.

"It's my understanding one team (Kennedy) refused to play the other (Sacramento)," said DeBoard in an email to ABC10. "This is a league game, so there needs to be a result. It's a forfeit."

The principal of Sacramento High School, Shannon Wheatley, had a similar response as DeBoard after he spoke with the principal at Kennedy High School. 

"I spoke with the principal, and he notified me of Kennedy's decision to forfeit the game," said Wheatley in a statement. "He explained that there were ongoing concerns regarding an incident involving students who do not attend Sac High or Folsom. Kennedy's decision to forfeit the game is unfortunate, but the Dragons football team will continue to prepare for their next game and continue preparing for midterms."

In any case, the game will not be played and won't be rescheduled.

The officer seen in the video releasing the pepper spray into the crowd to break up the fight is not on administrative leave and the investigation is ongoing. It includes a review of first-person accounts of the incident.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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