A video purporting to show the fatal shooting of Barry K. Washington Jr. in downtown Bend last week was released Monday, bringing anger and confusion to the literal door of a local news station.
The 64-second clip, posted on the website of Central Oregon Daily News, is said to include the moment a shot was fired in downtown Bend just after midnight on Sept. 19. But much about the shaky video is unclear.
In the early hours of Sept. 19, Washington, 22, was shot outside the Capitol nightclub near the corner of SW Oregon Avenue and SW Wall Street. He died shortly after.
Ian Mackenzie Cranston, 27, of Redmond, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of second-degree manslaughter.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel has said Cranston was drinking and possessed a concealed carry handgun.
Cranston posted $10,000 in bail and remains out of custody with his next court date scheduled for Oct. 5. Hummel has said he intends to take the case to a grand jury, where Cranston could face more serious charges.
Because Cranston is white and Washington Black, many believe the shooting could have been motivated by race and the prosecution is looking at that possibility, Hummel has said.
Much of what has been reported, though, has come through statements to the press by Hummel, who has said the shooting was preceded by a scuffle and Washington “complimenting” or “hitting on” Cranston’s girlfriend.
The video was given to the news station by Allie Butler, Cranston’s girlfriend and the woman at the center of the shooting.
The article accompanying the clip does not include comment from Washington’s relatives nor attempt to explain what happens in the footage.
“WARNING – WARNING – WARNING,” the article begins.
“We have not edited the video other than to format it for the screen and to eliminate expletives. It was provided to Central Oregon Daily News by Allie Butler, the fiancé of the Ian Mackenzie Cranston, the man accused in the shooting. We do not have any video from of moments leading up to the shooting to provide context.”
Within three hours, more than 1,000 people had commented on the news channel’s Facebook post that included the video, including a number of local elected leaders, who excoriated the station for airing the clip.
“TAKE THE VIDEO OF BARRY’S MURDER DOWN!” wrote Bend city Councilor Rita Schenkelberg.
Wrote Councilor Melanie Kebler on Twitter: “I understand completely why people are upset at CO Daily. It’s a traumatic video that should be in the DA’s case file only and not on the internet. Community members have a right to let CO Daily know how they feel. This is an open investigation and a family is grieving.”
Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz said he went to Central Oregon Daily’s management with concerns about the footage, though he did not directly ask them to take it down.
“I told them I had two concerns with the video being posted right now,” Krantz said via text message. “1. This is still an active and open investigation and we are trying to ensure the integrity of the investigation is held together as long as possible. And 2. I am sensitive to the grieving family who suffered a very recent loss.”
Krantz said station representatives thanked him and told him they feel there is substantial public interest in the incident.
Reached Monday, Hummel said he has the clip and had not released it to the media.
“I’m focusing on preparing this case to present to a grand jury,” he wrote to The Bulletin. “A jury will decide this case based on the law and ALL the evidence, not based on one piece of cherry picked evidence provided by the suspect’s girlfriend.”
In the early afternoon, activist group Central Oregon Peacekeepers protested outside the TV station on Sherman Road, livestreaming the event, and appealed to sponsors to cease doing business with the station. In a post later, Peacekeepers founder Luke Richter said they’d been told to leave the property.
A native of Benicia, California, Washington had recently moved to Bend with a friend. As of Monday afternoon, a GoFundMe page had raised $33,000 for his family. His death shocked the Bend community and led to an impromptu memorial on the sidewalk downtown where he was shot, and a vigil that drew about 150 mourners to honor his memory.
An email to relatives of Washington was not returned Monday.
Richter told The Bulletin he had spoken with Washington’s mother, who wanted the video removed from the website.
A person who answered Cranston’s phone hung up on a reporter, and he didn’t come to the door of the home he shares with Butler in Redmond.
Central Oregon Daily News did not return a call to its news line.