Oregon officer says he warned teen not to reach for waist

AP News
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Posted: Mar 27, 2017 10:11 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland police officer who fatally shot a 17-year-old boy last month told a Multnomah County grand jury that he warned the teenager several times to keep his hands away from his waist, according to a transcript of the hearing released Monday.

Officer Andrew Hearst testified that he fired his rifle three times when he saw Quanice Hayes reach to the front of his waistband despite several officers telling him to keep his hands up.

The officer said he perceived the movement to be "very intentional and very deliberate," The Oregonian/Oregon Live reported (https://goo.gl/PDybgE ).

Hearst also testified he didn't see Hayes with a gun in his hand when he fired his rifle, but he said he couldn't wait until he was sure it was there.

A grand jury last week declined to indict Hearst on criminal charges in the Feb. 9 shooting after concluding that Hearst, who joined the Portland Police Department in 2010, was justified in shooting Hayes.

Hayes was shot twice in the torso and once in the head. Toxicology results showed numerous drugs in Hayes' blood including cocaine.

Venus Hayes has demanded a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into her son's death. She said at a news conference last week that none of the accusations against her son were sufficient grounds for his "execution."

Hayes' death led protesters to repeatedly disrupt Portland City Council meetings during the weekslong investigation.

Police confronted Hayes after he allegedly used a replica gun to rob a homeless man of his state food benefits card on Feb. 9. Police said the replica gun was found next to Hayes after the shooting as well as the food benefits card.

That victim, Armando Suarez, told the grand jury he had been sleeping in his car outside a northeast Portland motel when a person robbed him at gunpoint. The person ordered him to drive around, but his car wouldn't start because he was out of gas.

"If the car would have started, that would have been the longest nightmare I've ever been on," Suarez told grand jurors.

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Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com