Four years ago, Quanice Hayes, 17, was shot and killed by Portland police. He was a suspect in an armed robbery and carjacking at the time. In February 2021, Deputy City Attorney Daniel Simon announced a settlement in the lawsuit against the city filed by Hayes’ family. They will receive $1.5 million, with another nearly $600,000 going to attorney fees and costs.
This is among the largest payouts in Portland history for a wrongful death case.
On His Knees, Hands Raised
Police officers responding to an attempted armed robbery and carjacking found Hayes as he was exiting a house in Northeast Portland he had allegedly burglarized. With guns drawn, they cornered Hayes in an alcove. He was on his knees with hands raised, then reached toward his waistband. Hayes was then shot three times and killed by Officer Andrew Hearst with an AR-15. He received one shot to the head and two to the chest. Afterward, officers discovered a fake gun lying nearby.
The Hayes family filed a civil lawsuit against the city in 2018. The lawsuit accuses the city of failing to properly train its officers and alleging Hearst used excessive force.
Lawyers for the family said he was not a threat at the time of the shooting. Instead, he was trying to lie down on the ground, as ordered by the police, and was unarmed. They said he was shot in the act of surrendering.
The police were not wearing body cameras at the time of the shooting. Steven Hayes, 44, the dead youth’s uncle representing the family, said that if officers were wearing body cameras, “This would have been a completely different case.”
The armed robbery victim told police that the suspect – later identified as Hayes – held him hostage in his vehicle for 30 minutes with a gun to his head. Hayes then left, stealing an item of clothing and an Oregon Trail EBT card.
Soon afterward, around 7:30 a.m., another 911 call came in. This involved someone breaking into cars near a Banfield Pet Hospital. Police later said the article of clothing stolen from the armed robbery victim was found in Hayes’ car.
Not long after that, another caller reported an unwanted person had entered their yard. The description of the individual matched that of the previous two callers. When police arrived at the address, they found items later determined to have come from the car broken into at Banfield Pet Hospital scattered around.
About 10 minutes later, they spotted Hayes, who ran off. A search for him began using a police dog. Hayes was found about 9:20 a.m., hiding in an alcove between a house and a garage.
The autopsy revealed that Hayes had cocaine, benzodiazepine, and hydrocodone in his system when he was killed.
A grand jury refused to indict Hearst. However, grand jury testimony was cited in the Hayes’ family lawsuit. Hearst and another officer, Robert Wullbrandt, shouted contradictory commands at Hayes as he crawled toward the police on his knees as ordered. Wullbrandt told him to crawl on his hands and knees, while Hearst yelled at Hayes to crawl with his hands in the air. When the youth moved forward and brought his hands down as ordered by Wullbrandt, Hearst opened fire.
Consultants hired by the city found that police had put themselves in a dangerous position when confronting Hayes, as they had no cover. They should have slowed down, found cover, and then coordinated their commands. Officers confirmed contradictory commands were given.
Act Quickly to Protect Your Civil Rights
Police misconduct and excessive force claims must be made within legal time limits (statute of limitations). This is usually a very short period of time to make a claim.
Jail Death and Injury Law has the national structure and deep resources to get to the bottom of any police misconduct investigation. We have developed a unique process for maximizing claims and finding the culprits.
To see if you have a case, call us 866.836.4684 or Connect Online. All inquiries are protected by the attorney – client privilege and kept confidential. There is never any charge for initial consultations. Cases are handled on a contingent fee basis