LAPD Officer Kneeled on Pelicans Star Jaxson Hayes’ Neck Despite Neck Chokehold Being Outlawed After Floyd’s Murder!
This picture below is a screenshot of the video released by the LAPD showing an officer’s knee on New Orleans Pelicans’ Jaxson Hayes’ neck shortly before he starts screaming “I can’t breathe.” This is utterly shocking, given the fact that California banned the use of carotid restraints and chokeholds by passing and signing it into law a year ago! This move was not only unnecessary given the number of officers on scene to help restrain Hayes but totally unlawful. In my opinion any pressure on his neck or airway could have put him at risk of death.
As we speak, there is an active investigation into whether police used excessive force on Hayes when they tased him and used this knee restraint. The video is disturbing. He was definitely resistant to arrest and noncompliant however he was not out of control and the tasing just feels over the top. The LAPD video also shows Hayes shoving an officer to the ground, which is of course totally unacceptable and likely escalated the interaction. However, it is not justification for an illegal technique that could cut off his air supply and kill him.
What’s particularly shocking is that one of the main prosecution witnesses in Floyd murderer Derek Chauvin’s trial was a sergeant from the LAPD named Jody Stiger who is a use of force expert. Stiger testified about the deadliness of Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck and its excessiveness. See his testimony embedded below. This would lead me to believe that the LAPD would take an interest in educating its officers on the fact that the carotid restraint has been banned following the Floyd incident.
In fact, after the murder of George Floyd, states across the country including New York & California quickly passed laws to outlaw the use of the controversial and deadly chokehold mechanism used by law enforcement to restrain people. Especially in Los Angeles it has a history of being used disproportionately on black people. In fact, the LAPD restricted the use of the neckhold all the way back in 1982 due to the wave of deaths resulting from it. Dr. Richard Allen Williams, a cardiologist at UCLA School of Medicine once recalled to PBS how former Police Chief Daryl Gates allegedly once called him to “verify” that African-Americans were more prone to dying from chokeholds because of “anatomical defects in their necks.”
“And so he was suggesting that Blacks were not normal in regards to their neck anatomy and that therefore it was their fault that they were dying. Not the fault of the police. And he wanted to know if I would agree with him,” Williams told PBS.
“And I told him no, Chief Gates, I don’t agree with that. I think that this is something that cannot defend. The real reason is that there were more chokeholds being applied to Blacks.”
How utterly racist! Well fast forward and now, thanks to Assemblyman Mike Gipson and dozens of other political supporters, the use of chokeholds and neck restraints by law enforcement officers during arrests have been outlawed in California. The Governor made it official in September of 2020, when he signed a bill that banned Carotid Restraints & Chokeholds.
It specifically says, “A law enforcement agency shall not authorize the use of a carotid restraint or choke hold by any peace officer employed by that agency.” “Carotid restraint, means a vascular neck restraint or any similar restraint, hold, or other defensive tactic in which pressure is applied to the
sides of a person’s neck that involves a substantial risk of restricting blood flow and may render the person unconscious in order to subdue or control the person. Choke hold, means any defensive tactic or force option in which direct pressure is applied to a person’s trachea or windpipe.”
Furthermore, Departments were required by law to update their use of force policies no later than January 1, 2021. However, if you go to the LAPD’s use of force section on the menu bar of its website, there is not one mention of the ban on chokeholds or neck restraints. Here is a link to the policy. The date of the policy is October 2020, after the new law banning chokeholds and neck restraints was signed by California’s Governor.
It’s worth mentioning that Angelo Quinto, a navy vet who was restrained by Antioch police during a mental health episode involving paranoia, in his home, died after the encounter. His family says officers knelt on his neck for up to five minutes and he was shoved face down for several minutes rather than placed on his side to prevent asphyxiation. A coroner determined he died from “excited delirium” from a delayed onset of the effects of prescription drugs taken before the encounter, whatever the heck that is. It is supposedly a not very well understood phenomenon, said the coroner. Sounds like BS to me. Meanwhile, this occurred in December 2020, again, after the use of neck restraints and chokeholds were banned in the state of California. The family has commissioned its own autopsy report.
It’s time for the policy to be enforced so people do not unnecessarily die from the use of illegal police tactics. Hayes should definitely prevail in his complaint.
Jody Stiger, LAPD Sgt. & Use of Force Expert at Chauvin Trial
Angelo Quinto Video Below– Warning: Disturbing