August 28, 2021
The Los Angeles Police Department released body cam footage from the July arrest of New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes that shows an officer kneeling on his neck as Hayes says, “I can’t breathe.”
The video also shows an officer using a stun gun on Hayes’ chest as other officers held him down and attempted to subdue him.
The LAPD, which bars the practice of blocking a person’s airway while trying to detain someone, said the incident is being reviewed. The department also directs officers to aim for the forearm, thigh or calf when directly stunning a target whenever possible.
Before his arrest, Hayes, 21, was arguing with the officers as they tried to enter his Woodland Hills house.
The LAPD had been summoned via 911 by a cousin of Hayes’ girlfriend, who told a dispatcher the couple was arguing and that Hayes had become “loud and violent.” The cousin also told the dispatcher that Hayes was an NBA player and that there were no weapons in the house.
Hayes and another man, whom he identified as his cousin, met with police outside the house.
“We were just having a little argument. She was throwing some stuff at me,” Hayes told the responding officers.
But when they told Hayes to stay outside while they talked to his girlfriend inside the house, Hayes objected and insisted the police needed a warrant to go inside.
The officers told Hayes he was wrong and continued toward the house, with Hayes arguing along the way.
When the police neared the door, they attempted to detain Hayes, who appeared to shove one officer into a wall before he was wrestled to the ground.
Hayes was arrested for suspicion of resisting arrest, but prosecutors have yet to file any charges against him related to the incident on July 28. The woman who was at the house at the time has “declined to cooperate,” according to the LAPD.
Hayes averaged 7.5 points and 4.3 rebounds in 60 games (three starts) last season. He was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2019 draft.
–Field Level Media