Grand Jury Clears Portland Officer Who Shot Black Teen

By Ryan Haas (OPB)
Portland, Oregon March 22, 2017 1:33 a.m.

Amelia Templeton / OPB

A Multnomah County grand jury has declined to charge a Portland police officer who shot and killed an African-American teen last month.


The Portland Mercury first reported the ruling Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday night, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler called Hayes' death a tragedy.

Wheeler said he has asked the Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill to release the transcripts from the grand jury's proceedings.  

"I wanted to make sure that there was transparency, so it's my expectation that at some point, in the very near future, in other words coming days, we'll have those transcripts available to the public," he said.

The DA's office has made a practice of releasing transcripts of the testimony grand juries hear when they are called on to decide whether to bring charges in officer involved shooting cases.

Officer Andrew Hearst shot 17-year-old Quanice Derrick Hayes while searching for a robbery suspect.

According to a statement issued Tuesday, Hearst had received a report at 7:24 a.m. Feb. 9 of an armed robbery at the Portland Value Inn hotel on 82nd Avenue.

"The victim told police that the suspect, later determined to be Hayes, put a gun to his head and held him hostage for approximately 30 minutes in the car then stole his Oregon Trail EBT card and an item of clothing," the Portland Police Bureau wrote in the statement.

Police said they also received a 911 call at 7:26 a.m. about a car prowler at the nearby Banfield Pet Hospital.


"An article of clothing found in the victim's car was linked to the robbery victim at the Portland Value Inn," police said.

A second 911 call was logged at 7:36 a.m., when a homeowner on Northeast Tillamook Street said an "unwanted person" entered his or her yard.

"The caller provided a description of the suspect consistent with the previous two 9-1-1 calls," police said. "Near the Tillamook address, Hayes left behind a small bag and items scattered about the ground, some of which were determined to have come from the car prowl at the Banfield Pet Hospital."

Police said they located Hayes at 7:48 a.m. and he ran. Officers then set up a perimeter and began to search for Hayes using a police dog, according to the statement.

According to the bureau, officers located Hayes at 9:21 a.m., crouching in an alcove between a house and a garage located on Northeast Hancock Street.

"Officers believed he was armed with a handgun, as reported by the robbery victim, and was involved in the car prowl and burglary," Portland police said.

"Hayes was ordered multiple times by officers to keep his hands up, but made repeated and deliberate motions with his hands to the area of his waistband and pockets," the statement continued. "During this encounter, Officer Hearst fired three shots from his patrol rifle at Hayes, striking and killing him."

The Oregon Medical Examiner determined Hayes was shot twice in the torso and once in the head. According to police, Hayes also had cocaine, benzodiazepine and hydrocodone in his system at time of death.

Police said they located a "desert tan-colored" replica handgun on the ground near Hayes that contained his DNA.

Multnomah County has not yet released a transcript of the grand jury proceedings, but officers informed the Hayes family of the grand jury findings Tuesday.

Family members and the activist group Don't Shoot Portland plan to hold a press conference on the grand jury findings Wednesday morning.

"Join the family in solidarity as they seek immediate access to grand jury transcripts and all associated media, body cams, reports, etc.," the group wrote on its Facebook page Tuesday.