LAPD Investigating ‘Use Of Force’ In Arrest Of NBA’s Jaxson Hayes

In 2019, Hayes was the 8th overall pick of the NBA draft.
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - OCTOBER 31: Jaxson Hayes #10 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts during a game against the Denver Nuggets at the Smoothie King Center on October 31, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

LAPD Chief Michel Moore confirmed Tuesday that a categorical use of force investigation had been launched into the recent arrest of New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes, who had an altercation with officers responding to a domestic dispute report last week.

According to Chief Moore, the probe involves “the possibility of force being applied to the suspect’s neck during the use of force in taking him into custody” early last Wednesday morning. The incident was initially investigated as non-categorical, which is a lower-level use of force.

Moore said Hayes, who is 6-foot-11 and 220 pounds, had made a complaint that “he could not breathe, that there was a constraint or restriction on his neck,” the chief said.

LAPD said officers from the department’s Topanga Division had responded to a radio call of a domestic dispute on July 28 at approximately 2:50 a.m. Upon arrival, they made contact with Hayes in the front yard of a residence.

“Officers informed Hayes they received a call at the location and needed to speak with the victim, but requested Hayes remain outside while they did so,” an LAPD statement issued on Thursday said. “Body Worn Video captured Hayes repeatedly attempting to enter the residence, despite officers blocking his path and verbal commands for him to remain outside. Officers requested a backup and they attempted to place Hayes’ hands behind his back; however, Hayes broke free of the officers’ grasp and pushed one of the officers into a wall.”

“Officers utilized physical force to take Hayes down to the ground to overcome his resistance,” the statement continued. “Once on the ground, Hayes attempted to get up and continued resisting officers. Officers utilized two deployments of the taser, as well as bodyweight and physical force during the altercation, which lasted for approximately two and a half minutes, before officers were able to handcuff Hayes.”

Hayes, 21, was hospitalized for several hours due to unspecified injuries related to the scuffle, then booked into jail on suspicion of resisting arrest. About two hours later, he was released on $25,000 bond.

An LAPD officer also required medical attention for minor injuries sustained during the struggle.

Police said the woman at the scene “declined to cooperate with officers’ investigation into the original domestic dispute call.” The New Orleans Advocate described the location as the home of Hayes’ girlfriend, who the outlet called “a fashion model and social media celebrity with more than 4 million followers across several platforms.”

The Use of Force Review Board will conduct the investigation and submit its findings and recommendations to Chief Moore.

Hayes was the eighth overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft and played one college season for the Texas Longhorns before turning pro. In two seasons, he has averaged 7.4 points and 4.2 rebounds a game. His father, Jonathan Hayes, was a former NFL tight end with the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers.

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