Early in the morning of July 28, police were notified of an incident at the home of New Orleans Pelicans player Jaxson Hayes.
The player’s girlfriend’s cousin had received several text messages stating that Hayes was loud and violent, and the girlfriend felt insecure.
21-year-old Hayes was unarmed, and ended up in a heated discussion with the officers when they refused to let him return to the house. Both her boyfriend and her cousin asked him to stop arguing and oppose the police, who tried to arrest the NBA player.
Hayes was finally arrested and charged with resisting the police, after receiving treatment for minor injuries in hospital. One of the policemen was also injured in the elbow, after two meter high Hayes pushed him into a wall.
Investigates excessive use of force
The case is now being investigated internally by the Los Angeles police “due to the possibility that force was used on Hayes’ neck”, writes the Associated Press.
The police have transferred the case to the public prosecutor, who has still not decided whether they will prosecute the officer.
Several now draw parallels to the murder of George Floyd, who died after then-police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against his neck for over nine minutes. However, there are some important differences.
A video of the arrest, which was captured by the officer’s body camera, shows the policeman pressing his knee against Hayes’ neck.
– I can not breathe! shouts the basketball player, just like Floyd did in May last year.
While Chauvin’s three colleagues were watching the deadly arrest of Floyd, the other officer in the Hayes case quickly took action. He asks his colleague to “get rid of the knee”, and it’s all over in a few seconds.
– I am a blessed soul, says Hayes as the knee is removed from his neck.
Shot with an electroshock weapon
In the almost 15-minute video published by the police, you get to hear both the emergency call and see the arrest from two different body cameras. The incident begins with Hayes standing in the driveway and calmly answering police questions.
The NBA profile then denies the police access to the house to interrogate the girlfriend, and when he tries to re-enter, the situation quickly escalates.
One of the officers pushes Hayes, who responds by pushing back. The police officers then pulled out the electroshock weapon, and warned that they would use it if the basketball player did not stop resisting. It is at this point that one officer presses the knee and hand against Hayes’ neck.
The basketball player does not listen to the officers’ warnings, which then fire the electroshock weapon twice – first at the chest, then at the thigh.
– Do not resist! shouts the officers.
Hayes is finally handcuffed, with blood on his arm and t-shirt. Now the officers risk sanctions, while Hayes is getting ready to return to the basketball court:
“Jaxson Hayes is a kind young man, and he is now in Ohio to train and get ready for the coming season,” said his lawyer Mark Baute in a statement.