NBA star Jaxson Hayes was assaulted by LAPD officers at his girlfriend's house on July 28th. This past week the LAPD released body camera footage of the incident that clearly shows officers coming onto the property without permission, taking Hayes to the ground when they attempted to enter the house without permission, and putting their knees on his neck while he said "I can't breathe." While attempting to discover the identities of the officers involved we discovered an outrageous letter from Los Angeles Police Protective League President Craig Lally to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver defending the actions of his officers and demanding that the NBA punish Hayes.
We are uploading a copy of Lally's letter as a PDF with this article (look for the PDF icon above the map on this page). The letter begins with Lally accusing Hayes of assaulting officers and calling them the n-word. Hayes is black so he has the right to use the n-word whenever and as much as he wants. The so called assault that Lally refers to was captured in the video embedded below this article. As you can see this "assault" was really self-defense after officers trespassed on private property without permission and responded to demands for a warrant by assaulting Hayes. When officers set foot on private property without permission or a warrant they deserve what they get. The same is true when they put hands on people especially if the person is standing on private property and doing nothing more than refusing to get out of their way unless they have a warrant. Hayes appears to be doing nothing more than trying to protect his girlfriend from a warrantless search of her home. The cops were there because someone else called them to report a possible domestic violence incident. Had the caller been the girlfriend then we would consider the presence of the police the result of a legitimate invite, but she was not the caller. The caller was not even there. For all the cops knew this could have been a swatting incident by someone trying to harm Hayes and/or his girlfriend. Officers have no business attempting to enter a private residence without a warrant based solely on an unverified 911 call. Nothing about the unverified call suggested that someone had in fact been injured and with Hayes standing outside in plain view of officers there no reason to think that anyone was harming his girlfriend. There was no need to force themselves inside.
Then "Mr. Hayes girlfriend came outside of the house and attempted to verbally instruct Mr. Hayes to calm down and cease his actions against our officers." By coming outside the house herself she eliminated any need to enter for the purpose of checking on her that may have otherwise existed. Had she been in danger her top priority would not have been helping her boyfriend. At that point officers should have just asked her to come closer so that they could talk while leaving Hayes alone.
Lally dwells on the fact that Hayes' actions violated criminal statues against assaulting, resisting, and interfering with officers in the performance of their duties. Those statutes fail to consider the need to deter officers from treading where they don't belong by allowing civilians to defend themselves and others. Rather than require officers to prove that an initial stop is justified to sustain a conviction against a subject that fights back they permit convictions in cases where officers have no legitimate basis to subject people to the arrest being resisted. Many people have found themselves convicted of resisting arrest and assaulting an officer simply because they fought back while being wrongfully arrested. The founder of Cop Blaster is one such person. His first violent conviction was a felony treated as a misdemeanor for assaulting campus police while he was in college. He was never convicted of the underlying charge, but that didn't matter just because he took offense to being arrested and gave officers some well deserved bruises. A just system would add a required element to statutes that proscribe resisting or assaulting officers in arrest situations requiring that an underlying charge result in a conviction before someone can be convicted of resisting or assaulting the arresting officers. Allowing people to physically defend themselves from wrongful arrests would go a long way towards deterring wrongful arrests in the first place. If officers knew that suspects could legally use force to defend themselves from wrongful arrests the number of wrongful arrests would plummet overnight while the ones that still take place would only be cases in which officers honestly believe they have the right person and that person really is guilty.
Lally concluded his letter with a tone deaf allegation that Hayes violated the NBA policy on hate speech by using the n-word. He compared it to the time Myers Leonard was suspended for making anti-Semitic comments. The two incidents are not remotely similar because Myers Leonard is not Jewish and Hayes is black. Had Leonard been Jewish his anti-Semitic comments would not likely have been taken seriously let alone violate a hate speech policy. When black men use the n-word they do it in an empowering way which began as an effort to take that word away from racists. Just using a a word by itself is not hate speech. Hate speech requires that certain words be used in certain contexts not present in this case.
The LAPD has not released the names of the officers that shot Hayes probably to keep people like us from doing to them what we are doing to Lally. We are locating information about him and posting it here as long as he continues his efforts to harm police brutality victims by causing them more problems. According to public records, Craig D. Lally is a 65 year old resident of Santa Clarita, California last known to reside at 20135 Zimmerman Place. We've also linked him to the phone numbers (216) 595-1374, (661) 297-7971 and (661) 714-2634. We are exempting Lally from our usual courtesy of censoring home addresses of police officers because of the high profile nature of this case, the potential use of the address for peaceful protest organizers, and the LAPD not naming the officers involved. We ask that nobody use this information for any unlawful purpose. We are proud to say that after over 4 years of posting information like that from time to time that no one has ever used it for a nefarious purpose and we doubt that anyone will start now. We are willing to remove the address if the LAPD publicly releases the names of the three officers responsible for assaulting Jaxson Hayes or if Lally retracts the claims made in his letter and issues Hayes a public apology.
Jaxson Hayes did nothing wrong. The system is designed to help bad cops abuse people without cause by denying them the ability to legally defend themselves. Lally's tone deaf allegation of hate speech is the real hate speech.