▶️ ‘We are failing’: local Black leader, City Council speak on Bend shooting

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A violent act…taking one man’s life, and stirring up fear for others.

22-year-old Barry Washington Jr. was shot and killed Sunday morning after a fight in downtown Bend.

The suspect, 27-year-old Ian Cranston, was charged with second-degree manslaughter.

He was released from jail after posting bail.

“You have released someone on a weekend who has taken the life of someone, so how can anyone who is Black feel safe right now?” Central Oregon Black Leaders Assembly Executive Director Riccardo Waites said.

Waites believes his release was a mistake.

“Our community has failed Barry Washington’s family,” he said. “It has failed every person of color, especially Black person, in this community.”

Riccardo’s organization and Central Oregon Peacekeepers posted in solidarity with the victim, with the hashtag #justiceforbarry.

Bend city council released a statement on the tragedy, saying, “We mourn the loss of Barry Washington Jr., who was killed this weekend in Downtown Bend.

“He was a son, a friend, and a member of this community. We must dig deep and examine ourselves and the systems and culture that have brought us to the point where a young person is shot and killed in our downtown.

“Gun violence is a routine part of life in other places. We do not accept it here.

“Mr. Washington’s death was totally preventable. We call on the community to come together and focus on how we can prevent these tragedies from happening in the city we all love.

“We call for justice and support for Mr. Washington’s family as they grieve this tragic loss.”

Comments on the Central Oregon Daily Facebook page expressed outrage that the killer is still on the streets.

Waites says he’s made great efforts to alert the community about the lack of safety for people of color.

“For over 18 months, I have told city council, the mayor, the chief of police, anyone who would listen, that the city is not safe for people of color,” he said.

He says the incident proves that Bend is not what it claims to be.

“This is a nightmare and I hope it wakes Bend up. This is a tragedy. We are failing…everything everyone has said is talk, nothing’s been done, and now a young man who left somewhere to be safe, because Bend advertises itself as a safe place that’s diverse, has died here.”

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