Remembering Barry Washington | Local News | Fold | The Weekly Source


HDozens of people attended vigils in honor of Barry Washington, Jr. on September 22 and 23 in Bend, just days after police announced he had been shot and killed by Ian Cranston at the exterior of the Capitol, a nightclub in Bend, September 19. Washington family and friends also held a vigil at Benicia Park in Benicia, California, near where Washington grew up. The shooting sparked a conversation about the lingering racism in central Oregon and the experience chasm between white residents and people of color. Cops arrested Cranston for second degree manslaughter. He posted bail and was released shortly after the shooting.

Wednesday’s vigil invited people to share their experiences in central Oregon, with speakers recounting the racism they encountered in the community. A black woman recounted that she recently pulled off the road in Bend. A teenage girl said she was nicknamed the “N-word” when she was five. And a local activist recalled Deshaun Adderley, who committed suicide in 2015 after being bullied at Summit High School. The Source Weekly, along with KPOV, was among the only local media to cover Adderley’s death.

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  • Jack harvel
  • Dozens of candles light up on the Barry Washington Memorial on the corner of Oregon and Wall Street in downtown Bend.

“Deshaun Adderley committed suicide because of the bullying he suffered at school. When he asked his school for help, he received none. When he asked his advisers for help, he received none. That’s black life in Bend, Oregon, ”Riccardo Waites, founder and CEO of Central Oregon Black Leaders Assembly, told attendees at Wednesday’s vigil.

Early reports suggested Cranston shot Washington after Washington approached his fiancée, Allie Butler, first at the bar, then outside. Deschutes District Attorney John Hummel said Washington had not acted inappropriately when interacting with Butler, but Cranston reacted aggressively and a fight broke out. Hummel said Cranston shot Washington while arguing with one of his friends.

The Washington family, however, claim the same men harassed Washington shortly after he moved to Bend. They say the shooting could be premeditated – which could turn charges of manslaughter into murder – and that Cranston used slurs that could turn the shooting into a hate crime.

“Basically he told her they could do whatever they wanted to her and kept calling her the ‘N’ word,” Washington aunt Valencia Roberson told NBC Bay Area. .

Hummel has previously said he is not ruling out the possibility that it is a hate crime.

“The question I must decide is whether Cranston’s decision to shoot was motivated in part by [Washington’s] race, ”Hummel told OPB. “In the end, it comes down to what was his motivation at the time he committed the crime.”

Thursday’s vigil focused on life in Washington, with friends and roommates sharing what he looked like. Friends said he was a “nerd” who loved Pokémon, video games, and chess. He idolized Malcolm X. He was not aggressive, but he was also not submissive when confronted, they said.

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Participants light candles, place flowers and hang signs during the vigil for Barry Washington Jr. on Thursday.  - JACK HARVEL

  • Jack harvel
  • Participants light candles, place flowers and hang signs during the vigil for Barry Washington Jr. on Thursday.

“He’s a loving person, he only cares about having fun when he goes out; that’s his only goal when he leaves the house, ”Washington friend and roommate Max Petersen said at Thursday’s vigil. “I told him it would be a safe environment here. But it was obviously a lie that I told him. I was given a different impression of the community here. I had better faith here.

Petersen had known Washington since he was 11 and invited him to come live with him in Bend. Petersen said he was shocked after Washington was first harassed shortly after moving to Bend.

“I said to him for a week, ‘I’m sorry, I told you it would be nice here and I’m sorry, I can’t believe this shit is happening to you; I’ve been here for four and a half years, and no one has jumped like this, ”Petersen told The Source.

Petersen said he didn’t know if the people who harassed Washington were there the night he was killed, but like the family, he believes the murder was racially motivated and hopes the charges can be laid in the murder. .

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Panels and artwork commemorate Barry Washington at a vigil Thursday.  - JACK HARVEL

  • Jack harvel
  • Panels and artwork commemorate Barry Washington at a vigil Thursday.

“We absolutely expect a murder charge,” said Petersen. “I think he was targeted. I think what 99% of the people walking in downtown Bend look like … if they had been fighting, trying to push a guy’s wife because they thought she was cute or other, and they tried to compliment her, I promise you they wouldn’t have died that night.

The Washington family has set up a GoFundMe campaign to pay the legal fees in the case. As of Monday, he had raised $ 33,376 of a goal of $ 40,000.

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