Ian Cranston: White bullet-factory worker shot dead Black man, 22, for talking to his GF

'Our country has a disgraceful history of denigrating, prosecuting, and lynching Black men for talking to White women,' DA Hummel stated


                            Ian Cranston: White bullet-factory worker shot dead Black man, 22, for talking to his GF
Ian Cranston (L) allegedly shot Barry Washington Jr. (R) for talking to his GF (Deschutes County Police Dept, Facebook/Lee Meritt)

BEND, OREGON: A young Black man was shot dead by a white factory worker in Bend, Oregon for allegedly complimenting and asking out his girlfriend. Ian Cranston, 27, has been arrested and charged with the murder of 22-year-old Barry Washington Jr, in a shootout that took place on September 19, 2021. The two men had an altercation outside The Capital bar after Washington spoke to Cranston's girlfriend Allie Butler. According to Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel, "It is believed that the initial interaction between Barry and Mr. Cranston began when Barry complimented Mr. Cranston’s girlfriend."

However, he added, "There's no evidence that what Mr. Washington did when he approached the woman was inappropriate. There's not an allegation that he groped her, grabbed her, was crass with her. He complimented her in a respectful manner. She was fine back. She said, "No, thank you. I'm flattered but I'm in a relationship." No allegation that anything Mr. Washington did was inappropriate." Hummel further elaborated that Cranston was "not happy" with the interaction and had a fallout with Washington later outside. Eventually, the 27-year-old bullet-factory worker allegedly pulled a gun and fatally shot Washington. 

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While Washington's conversation with Allie Butler has not been captured by the camera, surveillance camera footage of the fight was released on social media by onlookers. An individual, who is believed to be with Washington, filmed him fighting with another man, while a loud gunshot can be heard after a while. Later, cops found Washington lying in a pool of blood on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound. He succumbed to his injuries at the hospital a day later. 

Meanwhile, no hate crime charges were filed against Cranston, as the cops are still probing whether the incident was motivated by racial bias. As of now, Cranston, who works at Nosler bullet factory as a machinist, has been charged with second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, and first-degree assault.  

While narrating the details of the incident, DA Hummel cited similar racist murders of Black men from the past, during the era of Jim Crow laws. "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 stated.