Kathryn Kendall

‘Silent Voices’: A movie for Moose

Quanice Hayes was killed by Portland police in 2017. His grandmother's film gives voice to him and 8 other victims of police fatal force.

Quanice Hayes was his name, but no one ever called him that. His grandmother, Donna Hayes, says that to friends and family, the seventeen-year-old boy was known as “Moose.” Moose, among other things, was a basketball player and had NBA aspirations. “He was short but he thought he could do it,” Moose’s grandmother laughs. Moose was fun-loving and outgoing. “Moose loved music,” Hayes says, “and he loved to dance and he loved his little siblings and he would take anyone under his wing as a friend.”  On February 9, 2017, Moose was gunned down by Portland police officer Andrew Hearst. “He was seventeen,” recounts Donna Hayes. “My grandson. He was on his knees when the police decided to shoot him.” 

Venus Hayes (left), mother of Moose Quanice Hayes, holding the rose; Donna Hayes (center), grandmother and now playwright; right and behind, supporters from Don’t Shoot Portland. At the first press conference before the family addressed the mayor and City Council, weeks after the murder of Moose Hayes, March 1, 2017. Photo: Kathryn Kendall

That was more than three years ago. Now, Donna Hayes has written a film, Silent Voices, being screened through the community media center Open Signal, wrought out of her grief over her grandson’s death. “At first,” remembers Hayes, “it started out I was just writing because I couldn’t tell anyone everything that was going on in my head.” But there was more to it than that. 

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