Family to sue city of over deadly officer-involved shooting of teen

The family of a 17-year-old who was shot and killed by a Portland Police Bureau officer intends to sue the city of Po...

Posted: Feb. 8, 2018 4:06 AM
Updated: Feb. 8, 2018 4:06 AM

The family of a 17-year-old who was shot and killed by a Portland Police Bureau officer intends to sue the city of Portland over the 2017 officer-involved shooting.

Attorneys representing the family of Quanice Hayes reported that his family would be delivering a notice of intent to sue to Mayor Ted Wheeler's office Thursday.

The lawsuit will allege Officer Andrew Hearst acted "unreasonably" when he shot Hayes in February 2017.

The family's attorneys said Hayes was on his knees, unarmed and complying with commands when he was shot.

A grand jury ruled in March 2017 that Hearst was justified in using deadly force against Hayes.

Police said Hayes was suspected of robbing a man with a realistic-looking replica gun on the 1700 block of Northeast 82nd Avenue, leading to a search of the area and Hayes being found crouching in an alcove between a home and a garage.

Hayes was ordered to crawl out of the alcove, which he started to do, only to stop upright on his knees, according to investigators. Police said he was ordered multiple times to keep his hands up, but made "repeated and deliberate motions with his hands to the area of his waistband and pockets."

Hearst shot Hayes three times in the torso and head with his patrol rifle. Hearst told a grand jury there wasn't time to wait to see if Hayes had a real gun, because "I would not be able to react fast enough before he was able to shoot one of us."

Investigators said Hayes was carrying stolen items, and a tan-colored replica gun was found near him with his DNA on it.

Toxicology results on Hayes' blood showed numerous drugs, according to the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office, including cocaine, benzodiazepine and hydrocodone.

An attorney for Hayes' family said, "Quanice's death is part of a pattern by the Portland Police Bureau of killing unarmed young black people."

Hayes' family has been publicly outspoken since his death, with his mother stating last year, "The fact remains that we will never know the truth about whether Quanice even committed those crimes because on the morning of Feb. 9, 2017, Quanice had the misfortune of having a blood-thirsty, murderous-minded Officer Andrew Hearst arrive on the scene." Hayes' grandmother said at a City Council meeting last year, "The city of Portland declared war on my family and the first casualty was Quanice Hayes."

To fund the costs of the lawsuit, the family is planning to start a crowdfunding campaign.

What the family is seeking in a lawsuit was not immediately released, but the tort claim notice states, "In a city where young black men are discriminated against at every stage of their interactions with police and the criminal justice system, we expect that the damages in this case far exceed the limitations set by the Oregon Tort Claims Act."

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