Moose was cornered by police in a yard. He was shot, execution-sytyle in the head by Portland Police Officer andrew hearst.
17-Year-Old Quanice “Moose” Hayes: A Missing Star in Our Family
by Donna Hayes
Quanice, known as Moose by family and friends, was a funny person. Moose got a laugh out of the ones he loved and who loved him back. Whether it was a cookie he held in place with his butt cheeks or twerking for pizza, he only ever wanted to get a laugh. When he was around, we were sure to laugh. From his birth, he made us laugh. He looked just like Bullwinkle the Moose and we started calling him Moose right away. I never called him Quanice until after he was killed by officer andrew hearst*.
As Moose’s grandmother, I miss the times we had to be alone. I could talk to him about anything. We talked about the latest music, because at my age, I was behind the times -- pretty much stuck on music from the 80s. He introduced me to Jesse McCartney’s song, Beautiful Soul. He was so sure I would love this song. And I do. I play it now, and it breaks my heart, because he had a beautiful soul.
If he had bad times with his mother, I could show him her side and reasoning. Our conversations often ended with Moose saying, “Grannie, let me go talk to mom.”
Speaking of the word Grannie, the first time I heard the word, it came from his mouth. Now it’s a staple among the rest of my grandchildren. My grandchildren had a hard time with using grannie when my mother was around -- they figure they had to call her Grannie, too. Well here is where Moose stepped in. He started calling her Gee Gee for great grandmother. Now they all call her Gee Gee.
Quanice was a talented young man. Dancing and sports were his greatest achievements. Whatever the new dance was, he could do it. All you had to do was ask him to do it, and you saw how it was done. He was great at traditional sports… basketball, football and baseball. But he also played non-traditional sports like lacrosse. Not only did he play these different sports, he was good at each one. Moose was a natural athlete.
I remember him being such a little guy when he played football. He was running with the ball and was tackled. His mother ran out on the field and started pulling kids off of him. Well, that was an embarrassing moment for him, and Coach told him his mother couldn’t come to any more games. This is one of the moments we relive when we think about him.
Moose was a hero to his siblings. His sister has to step into a role that isn’t hers nor is she ready for. She was the sibling that was always at odds with her brother. They played practical jokes with each other just to see who could best each other. His little brothers looked up to him, and when they had a problem, they ran straight to Moose. When they thought their mother was wrong, they went to him, and he in turn, went to his mother to hash out the problem. He now has a brother who will not know him and how Moose cared about him. Moose changed him and the others’ poopy diapers, too, so he loved his siblings. Now they have lost their hero.
One of the hardest thing was to tell them that Moose is not coming back. Every once in a while they inquire on whether Moose is coming back. His siblings feel his loss terribly, as we all do. Just as we cannot understand why, they have it the worst, because they don’t understand the idea of death. Hearing us talk about police, they’ve grown an unhealthy fear of law enforcement.
Quanice also had seven uncles, a cousin who acted like another uncle, and one aunt among them. We often lived in the same house, and they grew up together. What I remember fondly is her having him calling her Auntie. This didn’t last long, because his mother reminded him that they were just six months apart, “Just call her Mimi”.
Also, we think about how, as a teenager, people would ask him how he wanted to spend his birthday. It was always a family affair. He kept it simple. The last birthday we celebrated with him was at the park. Just like he wanted, we laughed, played games, and barbequed. Now, when August 2nd comes around, we think about his birthday. This year, as a family, we celebrated at the cemetery; sitting on his grave, singing happy birthday to Moose -- a missing star in our family.
Thank you for reading. Quanice “Moose” Hayes was killed, execution-style by Portland Police Officer andrew hearst. Moose’s murder, like over 200 others killed by police throughout Oregon since 1992, was found to be justified. We need your voice to hold him accountable. His Family struggling for justice invites you to take the following actions on Moose’s behalf and for all the future lives we can save:
1. Call the District Attorney rod underhill at (503)-988-3162 and politely read Moose’s story to him or email him at DA@mcda.us. [Ask him: Is it justice you seek or a way to prove the innocence of the police you work with? Please explain how come you don’t seek an indictment for example in the Keaton Otis shooting or the James Chasse beating death?]
2. To prevent more of these heartbreaking stories in the future: Visit the ACLU’s “They Report to You Campaign” (https://theyreporttoyou.org/) and sign a pre-written letter to District Attorney rod underhill.
3. Remove rod underhill as District Attorney. We need a District Attorney that cares about justice, not one who skirts around it.
4. Join the Pacific Northwest Family Circle to support Donna Hayes, Sylvia Dollarson (Gee Gee above) and other Families struggling for justice in Oregon and Washington. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Donna Hayes, the author of this story, has intentionally not capitalized the names of people for whom she has no respect.