The Los Angeles Police Department is launching an investigation into the possible excessive use of force in the arrest of New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes, Chief Michael Moore told reporters on Tuesday.
Video obtained by TMZ shows multiple officers restraining Hayes, including one who tases him in the chest.
Police responded to a domestic disturbance call last week from the Los Angeles home of Hayes’ girlfriend, where they encountered Hayes outside. According to police, Hayes repeatedly tried to enter the residence, ignoring their efforts to restrain him and ultimately shoving an officer against a wall during an arrest attempt.
The police’s body camera footage has yet to be released to the public. Hayes, the eighth overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest. His girlfriend “declined to cooperate with officers’ investigation into the original domestic dispute call,” per police, via the Los Angeles Daily News.
Hayes was treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital.
During Tuesday’s news conference, Moore acknowledged “the possibility of force being applied to the suspect’s neck during the use of force in taking him into custody,” requiring an internal investigation. Hayes “was complaining of having trouble breathing, saying that he could not breathe,” the police chief added.
The man filming the video obtained by TMZ can be heard saying, “Stop. Get your hands off him now. I’ve seen him choking,” before more officers arrive on scene and prevent him from taking additional footage.
The LAPD outlawed neck restraints in the wake of George Floyd’s May 2020 death at the knee of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who is currently serving a 22.5-year sentence in federal prison for second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
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