Los Angeles Police Department chief Michel Moore said Tuesday that a categorical use of force investigation has been launched into the arrest of Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes.
Hayes was arrested last week in Los Angeles after an alleged altercation with officers who responded to a report of a domestic dispute. Moore said Hayes's case involves "the possibility of force being applied to the suspect's neck during the use of force in taking him into custody," which is the impetus for the investigation.
According to a 37-second cellphone video released Wednesday by TMZ, Hayes appeared to be tased in the chest by police last week. In the video, a friend of Hayes—while holding the camera—says Hayes is choking.
“Stop,” the friend says. “Stop. Get your hands off him now. I’ve seen him choking.”
Hayes, in turn, told one of the officers, "I want your badge number."
Moore said that during the arrest, Hayes “was complaining of having trouble breathing, saying that he could not breathe.”
Following the killing of George Floyd in May 2020, LAPD banned choke holds that restrict the flow of blood to the brain. According to NOLA.com, police have not released body camera footage from the incident.
According to the LAPD, video camera footage will not become public until 45 days after the incident, on Sept. 11.
The arrest came after law enforcement reportedly responded to a domestic dispute at the home of Hayes's girlfriend. Hayes tried to prevent officers from entering the property. From there, a physical fight reportedly broke out between Hayes and the officers, leading to his being tased.
According to TMZ, police had to put out an "officer needs help" radio call during the altercation. Hayes was taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries while a police officer was also treated.
Hayes is facing one count of resisting arrest.
The 21-year-old was the No. 8 pick in the 2019 NBA draft. He averaged 7.5 points per game in 60 appearances last season.