A categorical use of force investigation was launched into the arrest of New Orleans Pelicans player Jaxson Hayes, who was arrested during an "altercation" while police investigated a report of a domestic dispute, the LAPD chief said Tuesday.
Categorical use of force investigations often concern incidents of deadly force by officers. The Hayes' case involves "the possibility of force being applied to the suspect's neck during the use of force in taking him into custody," Chief Michel Moore said.
The use of force was initially investigated as non-categorical, which is a lower level use of force, but investigators discovered that Hayes made a complaint that "he could not breathe, that there was a constraint or restriction on his neck" Moore said.
The investigation will be conducted by the Use of Force Review Board, which will submit its findings and recommendations to Moore. The Los Angeles Police Commission will also receive the report.
Get Southern California news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC LA newsletters.
The incident occurred when officers went to the 22000 block of Mariano Street on a call of a domestic dispute, according to the Los Angles Police Department.
"Officers made contact with a male, later identified as 21-year old Jaxson Hayes, in the front yard of a residence," an LAPD statement said. "It was later determined that Hayes is (a) professional basketball player for the National Basketball Association. 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.
"Body worn video captured Hayes repeatedly attempting to enter the residence despite officers blocking his path and verbal commands for him to remain outside," police said. "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."
Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.
Officers then forced Hayes to the ground, police said.
"Once on the ground, Hayes attempted to get up and continued resisting officers," police said. "Officers utilized two deployments of the taser, as well as body weight and physical force during the altercation, which lasted for approximately two and a half minutes before officers were able to handcuff Hayes."
Hayes was the eighth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft out of Texas.