Oregon Man Charged With Second-Degree Murder In Shooting of Black Man Who Approached His Girlfriend

An Oregon grand jury has been indicted on second-degree murder and other charges on last week. 27-year-old Ian Mackenzie Cranston has been accused of shooting Barry Khristiano Washington, 22,  Black man, in September in Bend, Oregon. Cranston was arrested following the indictment by a Deschutes County grand jury. Bend Police arrested Cranston on a warrant charging him with second-degree murder, first- and second-degree manslaughter, first-degree assault and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon.

District Attorney John Hummel says there isn’t enough evidence to charge Cranston, who is white, with a bias crime. He said at a news conference that Cranston’s mother Lawanda Roberson “thanked God” after learning about the jury’s decision, KTVZ reported.

Hummel says Washington and Cranston didn’r know each other prior to the shooting on Sept. 19, however, the encounter started when Washington approached Cranston’s girlfriend outside of the Capitol bar in Bend. Washington didn’t have a weapon at the time that Cranston fired a single shot. However, the lack of bias charges, Hummel talked about the incident in racial terms.

“Our country has a disgraceful history of denigrating, prosecuting and lynching Black men for talking to white women. Over the last week, literally hundreds of people called and emailed me to remind me of this history,” Hummel said. “There’s a reckoning with race that needs to happen in Central Oregon, and it needs to happen now.”

Cranston’s girlfriend Allison Butler released footage of what led to the shooting. The recording is blurred and shows pushing and shoving. After a gunshot, Washington fell back and is seen on the ground for about one minute.

Hummel said previously, “The punches had stopped and it was just some shouting. And then at that point, Cranston pulled a gun out of his waistband and shot.” Hummel said Cranston rendered aid to Washington.

Cranston was initially arrested at the scene after the shooting, but posted bail and was released hours after Washington’s death. Hummel added there is “no justification” for the use of the weapon by Cranston.

Cranston remains in county jail without bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 5 and his plea hearing is scheduled for Dec. 6.  A GoFundMe page for Washington’s family has raised more than $55,000.

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