Hundreds Gather to Remember Quanice Hayes, a Black Teen Killed by Police in Oregon

Protesters block a street during a rally in Portland, Ore., on Feb. 20, 2017. A small group blocked the street to protest not only President Trump, but the recent fatal police shooting of Quanice Hayes. (Alex Milan Tracy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

A memorial for Quanice Hayes, a black teen killed by police in Portland, Ore., brought out hundreds on Friday, who mourned the 17-year-old and took to the streets in protest afterward.


The Oregonian reports that about 200 people filled the Philadelphia Missionary Baptist Church in Northeast Portland for the afternoon service, days after a Multnomah County grand jury decided not to file charges against a Portland police officer who killed Quanice, an alleged suspect in an armed robbery.

The day after the grand jury’s decision was announced, Quanice’s mother, Venus Hayes, called for a federal investigation into the circumstances of her son’s death, and said that the police officer who shot him was “bloodthirsty.”

“Quanice was on his knees when he was shot in the head and chest,” said Venus Hayes to NBC local affiliate KGW.

Police said they found a replica gun on the ground beside the teen after Officer Andrew Hearst shot him in front of a Northeast Portland home Feb. 9.


Hearst has been involved in two fatal shootings in the past five years. He was one of three officers who fatally shot Merle Hatch, 50, who had been diagnosed with mental illness. He was carrying a broken telephone handset, which he said was a gun. A grand jury also found no wrongdoing in that case.

At the service, Quanice’s cousin Terrence Hayes delivered an eight-minute eulogy that fondly remembered “Moose” and also touched on the relationship between African Americans and police.


Before Terrence Hayes spoke, about a dozen friends and family members stood before the audience to remember Quanice. Pastor Roy Clay reportedly combined biblical readings with solo renditions of spiritual music, backed by an organ and drummer.


Moments after people had slowly filed out of the tiny church at Northeast Mason Church and Garfield Avenue, about 50 people gathered at the intersection. Some held a banner reading “Justice for Quanice Hayes.”


For at least 15 minutes, they stood in the pouring rain chanting, “Say his name: Quanice Hayes,” “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “Black lives matter.”

The grand jury on Tuesday said that Officer Hearst was justified in shooting Hayes three times—once in the head, twice in the torso. Police had been searching for an armed robbery suspect who supposedly matched Hayes’ description.


Read more at The Oregonian and KCW.

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Angela Helm

Ms. Bronner Helm is a Contributing Editor at The Root. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.