Barry

Bruce Dart, of Bend, lights a candle at the memorial for Barry K. Washington Jr. at the corner of NW Oregon Avenue and NW Wall Street last week.

We don’t know what led to the death of Barry Washington Jr. last week in downtown Bend. We do need to know.

We do need to know for him and for justice.

We don’t want to watch videos of shootings. They are painful. They can be graphic. It can feel unfair that your only real time seeing a person is in their last moments.

Central Oregon Daily news ran on its newscast and has on its website a video, apparently of Washington’s last moments. It was provided by the fiancee of Ian Mackenzie Cranston, of Redmond. Cranston was arrested at the scene on suspicion of second -degree manslaughter in connection with the shooting.

The video is about a minute long. It doesn’t clear up much of anything. It’s blurred. It’s like looking through binoculars but they are often pointed the wrong way. There are pieces of what happened. The article and the newscast did not have any comments from Washington’s family.

Does it appear that there was a scuffle before the shooting? Yes. Beyond that, to be meaningful, the video would need to be pieced together with other evidence from the scene. Is there more to the video? Are there other recordings? What do witnesses say?

Central Oregon Daily news has faced criticism for publishing the video. Is it insensitive to the victim’s family? Does it present such a distorted and fragmentary picture of what happened that it isn’t worth it? Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel called it cherry-picked evidence and reminded us all it was provided by the suspect’s girlfriend. Was the TV station being used to bolster Cranston’s case? Does the news value of the video outweigh those concerns? And what if the TV station had the video and declined to air it? Would it likely have faced criticism?

These are questions for journalists and for the community. This newspaper, in its news coverage, chose not to link to the video. Was that the right thing to do? We think so.

The video does need to be watched for what it does tell us. But by itself it can ensnare us in a false vision of Washington’s death.

Sign up for our Daily Headlines newsletter

(8) comments

Politico2021

[angry] I do not feel that a life should have been lost in this instance. Regardless, of this young man’s demeanor, we cannot afford to have citizens taking the law into their own hands. This was a bad decision on both parts, but it speaks more to when you mix alcohol, testosterone, guns.

Marcomm

I'm glad the Bulletin chose not to share the video. It seems suspect to me in a lot of ways, not least of which is that it's provided by the fiancé of the accused shooter. Trial by media is not how this should proceed.

Thomas Who

The video appears to show that Washington was doing way more that politely asking another man's girlfriend for a date. Looks like he was aggressive and picked a fight, and got himself shot. We sure wouldn't want to see any type of video that contradicts the narrative that we are being force fed by the news media.

MF

The girlfriend, according to all the media sources I have, has already acknowledged that Washington was polite and not at all aggressive in his interactions with her.

cmessano

Was he aggressive and picked a fight OR was he defending himself from the harassment of a phone being shoved in his face recording him? “Say Hello, Say Hello” ....IT IS CALLED SELF DEFENSE.

Happy

Unfortunately Shooting someone for recording you wouldn’t fall under the Self Defense Law. Oregon isn’t a stand your ground state either. So he’s literally screwed!!!!

Politico2021

Where did you see that? That was not in the video. She began recording during the dispute between her boyfriend and the deceased.

cmessano

“Happy” please come back with an educated and relevant comment, Respectfully.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.