Family of teenager shot and killed by Portland police plans to sue city, officers involved

Quanice Hayes - Photo from family members.jpg

The family of a Portland teenager who was shot and killed by police last year plans to sue the city and the officers involved in the incident.

Quanice Hayes was 17 years old last February when he was shot by Portland Police Officer Andrew Hearst, a 7-year veteran of the bureau.

READ MORE: Investigative files, grand jury transcript released in police shooting of teen

Hayes was shot three times -- twice in the torso and once in the head. He was a suspect in an armed robbery outside the Portland Value Inn on NE 82nd Avenue. Officers found a “realistic-looking” replica firearm on Hayes.

According to police, the Oregon state medical examiner found that Hayes' blood contained cocaine, benzodiazepine and hydrocodone. The Oregon State Police Crime Lab found Hayes' DNA on the replica handgun.

According to the grand jury transcript released last year, the victim in the armed robbery outside the Portland Value Inn testified that Hayes acted like "a professional ... calm, cool, collected and very direct ... there was no way of doubting or disbelieving this guy was not a pro. He had done this multiple times. Without a doubt."

The victim, Armando Suarez, testified Hayes robbed him of cigarettes, a food stamp card and a vest.

He said he was asleep in his car when he heard a knock on his door. He said a man pointed a gun at him and threatened him. Police eventually tracked Hayes down to a home in the 8300 block of Northeast Hancock Street. They found him in an alcove between a garage and a home.

Officer Hearst testified that he used an AR-15 to shoot and kill Hayes after the teen repeatedly ignored his instructions.

"I tell him, 'If you reach for your waistband, I will shoot you,'" Hearst testified.

Hayes was instructed to get down on his knees, and then crawl to officers with his hands in front of him. At one point, officer Hearst testified Hayes suddenly begun looking around, "I'm thinking he's either looking for an avenue of escape to run or he's looking at a target, an officer, to shoot. And as he's doing that, he takes his right hand and he drops it to the small of his back. But immediately, as he kind of puts it down, he pulls it back out."

Hearst then testified Hayes reached to the front of his waistband, and that's when he shot the 17-year-old. A grand jury found Hearst was justified in the use of deadly force.

The incident led to several city-wide protests regarding police officers' use of force.

According to a news release from Hayes' family lawyer, they plan on delivering a lawsuit to Mayor Ted Wheeler Thursday afternoon.

To fund the legal action, Hayes' family has launched a crowd-funding effort.

“The Hayes family refuses to allow Quanice’s death to go unanswered. Despite the grand jury’s decision not to bring criminal charges against Officer Hearst, the family is determined to do what it takes to get justice for Quanice,” said Jesse Merrithew, an attorney representing Hayes’ estate. “Quanice’s death is part of pattern by the Portland Police Bureau of killing unarmed young black people.”

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