March 7, 2023 (UPDATE) – Nzinga Bayano Amani, formerly known as David Hayes, was found not guilty of obstructing a highway or other passageway in a jury trial. The charge of inciting a riot was dismissed in 2022.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knox County Sheriff Office’s arrested a man at a meeting at the Knoxville City-County Building Friday, according to an arrest report.
Officers say they identified David Hayes, an activist and former candidate for city council, at the City-County building around 4 p.m. Hayes had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The report says they were asked to wait until the meeting was over before arresting Hayes.
The report states officers saw Hayes leave the meeting, where they approached him and told him to put his hands behind his back. Hayes laid down on the ground where the report says he told officers, “I’m going to make you guys earn your paycheck.” It says Hayes then called for others who had attended the meeting to come help him.
Multiple officers assisted in arresting Hayes, giving him “numerous verbal commands” to stand and walk on his own, before carrying him down the hallway.
Hayes called for others in the meeting to “come help him” again, according to the report, before people approached the officers making the arrest.
The report says officers brought Hayes into the court services building and told him to sit in a chair. They say after Hayes sat down, he turned and spit in the arresting officer’s face. The report says the officer redirected Hayes’ head with his hand to keep him from spitting again. They placed a spit mask on Hayes’ head after that before escorting, at times carrying him, out of the building.
Hayes has been charged with inciting a riot and assault of a first responder, according to the report. His previous warrant, according to the report, was obstruction of a highway or other passageway back in April 2021.