Utah nurse resigns over racist comment following Tongan death

UPDATED: A statement from the University of Utah Health Care says an employee it has placed on administrative leave after learning of a series of disturbing and offensive comments he posted online  has resigned.

The male nurse at the University of Utah Health Care was being investigated by the health organisation about offensive remarks he made after a Tongan Crip Gang member was killed by a US Marshall.

Following the death of a Tongan gang member, Todd Shrum, a cardiac nurse at the University of Utah Hospital wrote: “Tongan trash….Kill them all”  on the 2News Facebook Page.

Siale Maveni Angilau 25 — aka "C-Down" — was shot several times in the chest on Monday after he tried to attack on a witness, Vaiola Mataele Tenifa, during a trial in the federal court house in Salt Lake City. He died later in a local hospital.

According to US news sources, Angilau was being tried on charges that included racketeering, robbery, carjacking, assault on a federal officer and weapons violations.

KSL-TV reported that Angilau had been in prison since September 2007 for violating his probation. The next year he was convicted of obstructing justice, a second-degree felony, and failure to stop at the command of an officer, a third-degree felony. Angilau was released into the custody of U.S. marshals last Friday.


Shrum’s comment stirred outrage on social media and Tongans reacted swiftly.

Rabina Langi Tangilapa commented: “When I looked at his page I was surprised he worked in the health care industry. This guy seems crazy. I trust the Hospital will do their best to address this and not only because I'm Tongan but for the human race. What a sad way to go through life being hateful to your human race.”

Shrum’s employer’s, the University of Utah Health Care, which includes a hospital, sent him on administrative leave while they investigate the situation. Today they released another statement saying he has resigned.

"Earlier this week University of Utah Health Care placed an employee on administrative leave after learning of a series of disturbing and offensive comments posted online by the individual. The comments created distress in the community, disrupted hospital business, and undermined the trust of patients. The employee in question has since resigned," a university spokesman said.

“University of Utah Health Care is committed to providing high quality care to everyone and we value the trust our patients place in us. The alleged comment represents unacceptable behaviour that undermines that trust".

Mixed views

Reactions from the on-line Tongan community have been mixed.

Koli Pilivi said: “Why give a man who posted up negative and very hateful comments towards minorities paid leave?! It doesn’t make sense to do that!! But my family and Polynesian community appreciate the fact that you are taking care of this situation.”

However some people took a different view. One Facebook user wrote:

“Being a gangster gets you nowhere but prison. [It is either kill someone or someone kills you]. Keep the tradition, show love and respect to everybody especially to your own parents, grandparents and siblings. When you love and respect them then you love and respect everybody. Parents stand up and teach your kids the right way of living otherwise, all you Tongan kids out there who wanna be gangsters will either end up in jail or the cemetery.”


Shrum told Chris Jones of 2News his comments were a "poor choice of words…very, very incredibly poor choice of words.  I meant no ill will towards the Tongan race whatsoever.”

However, according to 2News Shrum’s  personal page is littered with negative comments about Muslins, Hispanics, and African Americans. 

An example of this is his comments on a story concerning Muslims in Britain. Shrum posted: "Kill all the stinking Muzzies in the UK. Your problem will go away." 

2News also quoted his reaction to a story about undocumented immigrants, in which he wrote: "Send all the illegals back to Mexico, then nuke Mexico, tired of all the worthless wet back trash stinking up this great country." 

Gang’s Mormon connection

According to former policeman Ron Stallworth, many Tongan Crip Gang members came from families that had converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons).

Stallworth told news site 4utah.com that gang members were “very devout … and yet they believed strongly in the principles of their gang.”

Many of them lived a double life, in church on one day, and committing violent crimes the next.

The main points

  • A male nurse at the University of Utah Health Care who posted comments after a Tongan Crip Gang member was killed by a US Marshall on Monday is being investigated.
  • Siale Maveni Angilau 25 — aka "C-Down" — was shot several times in the chest after he tried to attack on a witness during a trial in a new federal courthouse in Salt Lake City. He died later in a public hospital.
  • Todd Shrum’s on-line comments stirred outrage on social media and Tongans reacted swiftly.
  • Shrum claimed he had made a poor choice of words and that he bore “no ill will” towards Tongans.


‘University hospital nurse placed on paid leave after posting racist comments’

Facebook page

University of Utah Health Care

‘FBI: Alleged gang member shot, killed after lunging at witness in court’

‘Police claim violent Utah Tongan Crip Gang professed to be men of faith’

Documentary on Tongan Crip Gang

Ongoongo Faka-Tonga / News in Tongan

Kuo fakafisi 'a e tangata neesi i he  Tokangaekina’anga Mo’ui ‘a e Univesiti o ‘Iuta fekau’aki mo ha’ane lau fakalotomamahi i he hili ‘a hono fana’i e he taha e kau US Marshall ‘o mate ‘a e taha ‘o e kau memipa ‘o e kau kengi Tonga ‘oku ‘iloa ko e Tonga Crip Gang.

Ko e fakaha 'eni e fakafisi 'i ha fakamatala kuo tuku ange mai 'e he 'Univesiti 'i he pongipongi 'o e 'aho ni.

Hili e malolo ‘a e memipa ‘o e kengi Tonga na’e fai ‘e Todd Shrum ko ha neesi ki he mafu ‘i he Falemahaki ‘a e ‘Univesiti ‘o ‘Iutaa ‘ene tohi he peesi Feisipuka ‘a e 2News ‘o pehe ko e Angama’olalo faka-Tonga – tamate’i kotoa kinautolu.

Na’e fana’i tatu’olahi ‘a Siale Maveni Angilau ta’u 25 ‘a ia ne toe ‘iloa ko “C-Down” i hono fatafata i he Monite hili ia ‘ene feinga ke ‘ohofi ‘a e tokotaha Tonga pe ‘e taha ko Vaiola Mataele Tenifa na’e fakamooni ma’a e kau polisi ‘o fehangahangai ai mo Angilau lolotonga ha hopo ‘i ha fale  fakamaau’aga fetalolo ‘i Salt Lake City. Na’a ne toki mate ‘i ha falemahaki fakafeitu’u pe.

Fakatatau ki he ngaahi mau’anga fakamatala ‘Amelika na’e hopo’i ‘a Angilau ki he ngaahi faka’ilo fekau’aki mo e ngaahi fa’ufa’u ke fakahoko ha hia kaiha’a, kaiha’a ka, ‘ohofi ‘o ha ‘ofisa polisi fetalolo pehe ki ha ngaahi maumaulao fekau’aki mo e meatau.

Fakatatau ki he lipooti ‘a e KSL-TV ko Angilau na’e ‘i pilisone ia ‘i Sepitema 2007 ki he’ene maumau’i ‘ene polopeisini.

I he ta’u hono hoko na’e tautea ai ia ki he’ene fakafe’autungia’i e fekumi ki he faitotonu, fakahoko hia ‘i he kalasi ‘oku fakakalakalasi hono mamafa ki he tikili hono ua, mo e ‘ikai ke tu’u ‘i ha tu’utu’uni atu ‘a ha ‘ofisa polisi ‘a ia ‘oku fakakalakalasi e mamafa e hia ko ia ki he tikili tolu.

Na’e tuku ange atu leva ‘a Angilau ke tokanga’i ‘e he US Marshalls ‘i he Falaite kuo ‘osi.  


Na’e langa’ia ‘e he lau ‘a Shrum ha mamahi lahi fau mei he kainga Tonga ‘o ‘ikai toe taimi hono enau hapohapo’i e tangata ni.

Na’e pehe ‘e Rabina Langi Tangilapa ko e taimi ko e na’e sio ai ‘i he peesi ‘a Shrum he’ene lau na’a ne ‘ohovale he ‘asi ‘oku ne ngaue ‘i he ngaueanga ki hono tokangaekina  ‘o e mo’ui. Naa ne pehe ‘oku hange siana ni ha vale.

Na’a ne pehe ‘foki ‘oku ne falala ‘e fai e he fale mahaki honau lelei taha ke vete ange ‘a e mea ni ‘o ‘ikai koe’uhi pe he ko e Tonga ia ka ki he kakai kotoa.

Ka kuo ngaue foki e Falemahaki Iutaa ia kia Shrum ‘o ‘oange ene malolo ki ‘api kae vahe pe lolotonga hano fakatotolo’i ‘ene lau fakamamahi na’e fai.

Pehe ‘e he Univesiti kuo nau fanongo ki he ngaahi launga kau ki he lau fakamamahi ‘a Sharum na’e fai. Na’a nau pehe foki ‘oku faitukuingata ‘a e Tokangaekina’anga Mo’ui ‘a e ‘Univesiti ke fakaai ‘a e fatongia tokangaekina ki he taha kotoa ‘i he tu’unga ma’olunga pea ‘oku nau fakamahu’inga’i e falala ‘a e kau mahaki ‘iate kinautolu. Ko e lau fakamamahi kuo tukuaki’i oku ne fakafofonga’i ha to’onga ‘oku ‘ikai ala tali ka ‘oku ne uesia e falala ko ia.

'Oku pehe ‘e he falemahaki lolotonga ‘enau fakatotolo ‘oku fai ‘oku fakaafe’i atu ha taha ‘oku ne fakatokanga’i ha fa’ahinga fakakehekehe pe ‘oku fai ki he kau mahaki ‘i he falemahaki ‘univeisiti ‘o Iutaa ke fetu’utaki ange ki he 801-581-8365 or fika ta’e totongi  800-735-2258.

Kehekehe pe ngaahi fakakaukau:

Ko e nga’uta ‘a e komiuniti Tonga he ‘initaneti na’e fio pe anga ‘enau fakakaukau.  Na’e pehe ‘e he tokotaha ko Koli Pilivi pe ko e ha e ‘uhinga hono fekau ke malolo ki api kae kei ‘oange pe ‘ene vahe ‘a ha taha kuo ne fai ha lau ta’e’ofa mo nekativi ki he kakai ‘oku taku ko e falukunga kakai tokosii ‘i he anga ‘o e nofo.

'Oku ‘ikai ‘uhinga malie hono fai ‘o e me’a ko ia. Ka ‘oku hounga pe kiate ia mo hono kakai polinisia ‘oku fai ‘e he Falemahaki ha ngaue ki he me’a kuo hoko.

Neongo ia na’e kehe e sio ‘a e ni’ihi. Na’e pehe ‘e he tokotaha ‘i he Feisipuka, ‘oku ‘ikai ha toe feitu’u ma’a kita ‘i ha’ate hoko ko ha kengi ka ko pilisone pe.

Fai e tukufakaholo pea fakahaha ‘a e ‘ofa mo e faka’apa’apa ki he taha kotoa tautefito ki ho’omou matu’a totonu, fanga kui mo e fototehina mo tuofafine. Ko hono faka’apa’apa’i  kiakinautolu te nau faka’apa’apai kimoutolu. Oku fiema’u ke tu’u hake ‘a e matu’a ‘o ako’i ‘enau fanau ki he founga totonu he ka ‘ikai ko kinautolu ‘a e fanau ‘oku nau fie kengi ka ‘ikai pe ke nau iku ki pilisone ko fa’itoka.


Na’e lava foki ‘o faka’eke’eke ‘a Shrum ‘e Chris Jones mei he 2News fekau’aki mo ‘ene komeni ko ‘eni ‘oku fai ai ‘a e felauaki. Na’e fakaha ‘e Shrum ‘ene kole fakamolemole mo ne pehe ko hono mo’oni ko e fu’u matu’aki kovi pe ‘ene fili lea ne ngaue’aki. Na’a ne pehe ‘oku ‘ikai aupito ha’ane teitei loto taufehi’a ‘e taha ki he matakali Tonga.

Kaekehe fakatatau ki he 2News ‘oku hange ha neveneve ‘a e ngaahi lau kovi ‘a Shrum ia ki he kakai Mosilemi, Hisipeniki kae pehe ki he kau ‘Afilika-‘Amelika oku ‘asi he’ene peesi feisipuka. ‘Oku iai ‘ene lau ‘e taha ‘i he’ene peesi pe ki he kau mosilemi ke tamate’i kotoa kinautolu kae ‘osi ‘a e palopalema.

'I ai mo ‘ene lau kovi ki ha kau Mekisikou ‘i ha me’a faka’imikuleisini ne ne pehe ai ke fakafoki pea faka’auha kinautolu. Ko e fekau’aki mo e Mamonga: Fakatatau ki ha polisi ki mu’a ko Ron Stallworth naa ne pehe ko e tokolahi ‘o e kau kengi Tongan Crip Gang ko ‘enau ha’u mei he ngaahi famili kuo nau ului ki he Siasi ‘o Sisu Kalaisi ‘o e Kau Ma’oni’oni ‘o e Ngaahi ‘Aho Ki mui ni.

Na’e fakaha ‘e Stallworth ki he 4utah.com ko e kau kengi fa’a lotu ‘aupito…ka ne nau kei tui pe ki he ngaahi tefito’i fakakaukau ‘o e fakakengi. Ko e tokolahi ‘ia kinautolu ne ua e me’a ne nau mo’ui’aki, ‘i ‘apisiasi ‘i he ‘aho ‘e taha pea o leva ‘o fai e hia he ‘aho hono hoko.

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