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NBA's Jaxson Hayes Tased By Police During Arrest, Police Release Video

Hayes, 21, was booked into jail on accusations of resisting arrest after he was evaluated at a hospital for minor injuries

NBA's Jaxson Hayes Tased By Police During Arrest, Police Release Video
NBA player Jaxson Hayes was arrested with an officer using a taser on him. -

A Los Angeles police officer briefly pressed a knee to the neck of NBA player Jaxson Hayes as the New Orleans Pelicans centre gasped “I can't breathe” seconds before another officer used a Taser on him during a struggle, according to body camera video released Friday. (More Sports News)

The officers went to Hayes' home in the Woodland Hills neighbourhood on July 28 around 3 am after his girlfriend's cousin called 911. The cousin said Hayes' girlfriend was sending her text messages saying he had become loud and violent and she was scared.

Hayes, who was not armed, became argumentative after officers said he couldn't go back into his home. He ignored requests from his girlfriend and his cousin to stop talking and struggling with the police as they tried to subdue him. The 21-year-old ultimately was booked into jail on accusations of resisting arrest after he was evaluated at a hospital for minor injuries.

Hayes' agent did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.

A police officer's elbow was injured when Hayes shoved him into a wall.

The LAPD's Force Investigation Division is looking into the case “due to the possibility of force being applied to Hayes' neck during the use of force,” police previously said in a statement. Los Angeles police have presented the case to prosecutors, who haven't decided whether to file charges.

Authorities previously said Hayes' girlfriend has declined to cooperate in the investigation.

Hayes, 6-foot-11 and 220 pounds (over 2 meters and nearly 100 kilograms), was drafted eighth overall out of Texas in 2019. He is the son of former NFL tight end Jonathan Hayes, who played for Kansas City and Pittsburgh.

The younger Hayes played one season for the Longhorns before turning pro. In his first two NBA seasons, he averaged 7.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 16.5 minutes.

Since George Floyd's death in 2020 there is heightened sensitivity not just when it comes to police violence against Black people, but to police using any kind of force that restricts a person's breathing. While Hayes' encounter with police bears some similarities to Floyd's murder by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, the differences are notable.

Hayes was on his back when a Los Angeles police officer's knee was pressed to his neck for a few seconds. Floyd was pinned face-down under Chauvin's knee for up to 9 1/2 minutes.

As Hayes gasped “I can't breathe” several times, another officer tells his partner “get your knee up.” That officer immediately complies and Hayes is able to lift his head.

In Floyd's case, three other officers were charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin with murder and manslaughter because they did not intervene. (AP)

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