More than 100 students from Portland Public Schools walked out of class on Friday morning to march down Northeast Portland streets on the one-year anniversary of a police officer killing 17-year-old Quanice Hayes.
The march, organized by the racial justice and police reform group Don't Shoot Portland, marked one year from the Feb. 9, 2017 shooting of Hayes—a killing that enraged and galvanized the city's black community.
"[We] want the community to know what's going on," said Alyssa Pariah, one of the protest organizers with Don't Shoot Portland. "A lot of people when they find out, they become rightfully angry, and a lot of those people today were kids."
Over a hundred people participated in the protest, chanting "Black lives matter." The march started from the Northeast Precinct of the Portland Police Bureau and concluded at Ockley Green Middle School.
A Multnomah County grand jury ruled Officer Andrew Hearst was justified in the shooting. (Hayes was suspected in an attempted carjacking hours earlier, and a toy gun was found near his body.)
This week, Hayes' family notified the city that it intends to sue over his death.
Organizers said Friday's march, anchored by people Hayes' age or younger, showed what organizers described as a hunger for change.
"The energy that was within all the people involved was just outstanding," says Don't Shoot Portland organizer Lauretta'Reye Austin. "It shows that the youth wants to be better and that they want to see the rest of the world to do better. Most importantly, there is a want for black lives to be taken seriously."