Amid excessive force investigation, LA police union pushes NBA and Gayle Benson to discipline Pelicans’ Hayes
LOS ANGELES (WVUE) - As a ‘use of force’ investigation continues own in the LAPD’s arrest of New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes following a domestic dispute call, TMZ has obtained a letter from the city’s police union addressed to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and team owner Gayle Benson that asks for league discipline against Hayes.
Craig D. Lally, President of Los Angeles Police Protective League, said that representatives of the police union observed the body-worn camera footage and feel that Hayes should be charged for assaulting an officer and resisting arrest. Lally also accused Hayes of using the “N-word” towards the officers during the altercation that ended with the Pelicans player tased and cuffed while on the ground.
Body-worn camera footage from that night has not been made available to the public at this time.
Lally said that if Hayes receives the charges suggested by the union and is convicted he would violate the league’s policy on violence and could be required to serve a 10-game suspension.
“The video is clear,” Lally said to league executives. “Your swift action in this incident is warranted.”
The police union president also went on to suggest Hayes be disciplined for his use of the N-word.
“In addition to physically attacking our officers and obstructing a domestic abuse investigation, Mr. Hayes repeatedly called our officers the “N-word” and did so in an aggressive and threatening manner,” Lally said. “No person should be subjected to such vile and offensive language. It has no place in our society and it should have no place in the NBA.”
Lally also referenced Miami Heat player Myles Leonard, who was fined $50,000 and suspended from games for using an anti-Semitic slur. He suggested that Hayes should face similar punishment.
“Our officers politely explained to Mr. Hayes that they were conducting an investigation into a domestic dispute and potential domestic violence and that they needed to talk with his girlfriend to check on her well-being,” Lally said. “Mr. Hayes responded belligerently, refused to allow our officers to check on the well-being of his girlfriend, and became physically and verbally combative.”
Hayes and an officer were treated at a nearby hospital for their injuries.
In the aftermath of the incident, the 6-foot-11 and 220 lbs. Hayes was formaly charged with resisting arrest and posted a$25,000 bond. Last week, LAPD Chief Michael Moore announced that a ‘use of force’ investigation was launched into the incident over alleged pressure on Hayes’ neck, making it difficult for him to breathe.
The investigation is still ongoing.
The Pelicans were not immediately available for comment regarding possible discipline for Hayes.
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