Barry Washington Jr. poster ripped; community members call for permanent memorial
'This is a situation we’ve all been told doesn’t happen in Bend. It happened in Bend and now we need to make sure that it doesn’t happen in Bend again'
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Community members, including Luke Richter, president of the Central Oregon Peacekeepers, are calling for a permanent memorial for Barry Washington Jr. downtown, after a signed poster in his honor was vandalized a week ago.
“The only solution is to make something more permanent,” Richter said.
Richter said last week, he found a poster filled with heartfelt handwritten messages at the memorial had been ripped in half.
“Some people have just immediately made it political, and they don’t like that,” Richter said Wednesday.
On Sept. 30, Ian Cranston was arraigned on second-degree murder charges in the Sept. 19 shooting death of Barry Washington Jr. There is no charge of a bias crime, though authorities say an investigation is still ongoing.
“It feels like the second something BIPOC gets put up, it gets messed with,” Richter said.
Richter said he has spoken with Barry’s mother, who would like a plaque and/or permanent memorial, as well as renaming the intersection of Wall Street and Oregon avenue, where he was killed, “Barry’s Corner.”
Bend Mayor Sally Russell told NewsChannel 21 by phone the city is exploring the idea of a more permanent memorial but has not had any definitive discussions.
City spokeswoman Anne Aurand said there's no formal process to establish a permanent memorial downtown. Any consideration would need to account for right-of-way codes and permits.
Richter and the Peacekeeper also want to include the name of Deshaun Adderley, a 14 year-old who died by suicide in 2017.
In 2020, there was a petition to put a plaque at summit high to honor deshaun.
At that time, Carol Palmer, a mental health counselor with central oregon's chapter of the compassionate friends, told newschannel 21
"We definitely do not want to do anything that would, in any way, glorify or glamorize suicide,” Palmer said. "Certainly, if it specified that he died by suicide, that would be the worst thing that I would want to see on that plaque."
Richter said Deshaun dealt with bullying and racial harassment, and wants his name acknowledged.
“Whatever his family is comfortable with, just something that is going to let people know that he existed,” Richter said.
He said above all, he wants a permanent reminder of what happened to Barry Washington Jr.
“This is a situation we’ve all been told doesn’t happen in Bend. It happened in Bend, and now we need to make sure that it doesn’t happen in Bend again,” Richter said.