On February 9, 2017, Portland Police Officer Andrew Hearst killed Quanice Hayes with three shots from his AR-15 rifle--two in the chest and one in the head. Quanice was unarmed, on his knees, with his hands in the air. Six weeks later, a grand jury declined to pursue any criminal charges against Officer Hearst. The Portland Police Bureau found that he had done nothing wrong. The city refused to turn over all of the evidence it collected in its investigation to lawyers for the Hayes family.
None of this is surprising. No Portland Police officer has ever been fired for killing an unarmed citizen, much less criminally charged. The only way that families of police violence can seek justice is to sue the officers and the cities that employ them. That is exactly what we decided to do. But we need your help. Pursuing justice with a civil lawsuit is expensive. There are filing fees, deposition fees, and expert fees, not to mention the costs of sending private investigators to interview witnesses. Our lawyers estimate that the cost of bringing this case to trial could be as much as $150,000, and that's without paying the lawyers any money.
We need your help to get this case started. $20,000 will cover the filing fees, some initial depositions, and allow us to retain the best experts before the other side does. Anything helps, and every dime is appreciated.
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