The Los Angeles Police Department has launched an investigation into whether officers used excessive force while arresting NBA Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes, a department spokesperson confirmed to CNN Wednesday.
On July 28, LAPD officers responded to a call at about 2:50 a.m. local time reporting a domestic dispute at a residence in Woodland Hills, California. When officers arrived, they encountered Hayes in the front yard, a statement from LAPD said.
Officers asked Hayes to remain outside while they spoke with the victim, but Hayes allegedly resisted, according to the statement.
“Body Worn Video (BWV) captured Hayes repeatedly attempting to enter the residence, despite officers blocking his path and verbal commands for him to remain outside,” the statement said. “Officers requested a back-up 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 took Hayes to the ground and twice used a Taser when he allegedly continued resisting officers, according to the statement. The struggle lasted about two-and-a-half minutes before officers were able to handcuff Hayes, the release said.
Following the altercation, Hayes was treated at a local hospital for injuries before being taken to Van Nuys Jail on a charge of resisting arrest, the LAPD statement said.
Mark Baute, a spokesman for BDA Sports Management that represents Hayes, said the agency had not asked for the investigation.
“Mr. Hayes is healthy and is working out with his team, and I have not asked for any officer to be investigated,” Baute said. “Mr. Hayes is focused on his commitment to the Pelicans to be the best professional basketball player he can be.”
The department launched the investigation after the incident was reviewed by an LAPD supervisor who requested a review of force applied to Hayes’ neck during the arrest.
LAPD officer Rosario Cervantes told CNN they are not releasing the police officers’ body camera footage to the public at this time.
It is unclear if this incident will affect Hayes’ eligibility for the start of the next season. Hayes was selected in the first round of the 2019 NBA draft as the number eight overall pick. He has spent his first two seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Pelicans organization did not return CNN’s request for comment.
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