The family of Quanice Hayes has filed a lawsuit against the city of Portland and the Portland Police Bureau officer who shot and killed the teen in February 2017.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges no officer ever saw Hayes with a firearm or “anything that looked like a firearm” prior to deadly force being used against him.
The lawsuit also states a “reasonably well-trained police officer” would have believed Hayes, 17, may have been in “some sort of mental health crisis” at the time he was shot.
More broadly, the lawsuit states, “The Portland Police Bureau has a history of disproportionate policing of African-Americans” and “The City is also aware that their police officers wrongly perceive African-Americans, and particularly young African-American men and boys, to pose a greater threat of violence than other members of the community.”
A grand jury ruled in March 2017 that Officer Andrew 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."
The lawsuit alleges “different police officers shouted contradictory commands at him.”
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.”
The lawsuit alleges multiple less-than-lethal force options were immediately available to officers at the scene.
Investigators said Hayes was carrying stolen items, and a tan-colored replica gun was found near his body with his DNA on it.
The lawsuit states “no firearm was recovered in Hayes’ possession” and Hayes “was unarmed and posed no threat to the officers or anyone else.”
Toxicology results on Hayes' blood showed numerous drugs, according to the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office, including cocaine, benzodiazepine and hydrocodone.
The lawsuit is seeking damages “in an amount to be determined at trial.”
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