Bend Community Rallies to Celebrate the Life of Barry Washington

Citizens gather seeking justice and answers after a young Black man was shot in downtown Bend.


Ella Byrnes, Staff Writer

On Thursday September 23, hundreds of people came together on Wall Street in Downtown Bend to honor the life of Barry Washington, who was shot and killed at The Capitol bar. 

The assembled came from the Bend community and beyond to place flowers, light candles, and utter words of remembrance for Washington. It was at least the second night the community members kept vigil over the area where Washington, a Black man, was allegedly killed by Ian Cranston, a white man. 

Bend High senior Malik Friedman (they/them), a member of Central Oregon Black Leaders assembly (COBLA), attended the vigil with both their parents Thursday night because they were angered at what they perceived to be another tragic, racially motivated murder. 

“Barry should still be alive,” Friedman said. “This should never have happened. We don’t talk about the racism that occurs here, it’s rampant.”  

The many candles remained lit as the sun went down and our community celebrated Washington’s life. As of October 1, Cranson was arrested on charges of second-degree murder, and manslaughter, among others. 

OPB’s Emily Cureton wrote about Washington’s murder and she highlighted the perceived racism that’s all to common in our area: “Black speakers shared experiences of racism in Central Oregon. Multiple people described being harassed while driving, or intimidated with trucks and revving engines.”

The most recent gathering for Washington was Oct.1 and was organized by the Central Oregon PeaceKeepers, who are currently urging the Bend community to reach out to District Attorney Hummel by email ([email protected]) to demand justice for Washington.