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EPD Says Investigation On Hit & Run Of Black Unity Leader Is Priority

Melorie Begay

Eugene Police Chief Chris Skinner says his department is investigating a collision between a car and a Black Unity protester Sunday. 

EPD seeks video evidence from any witnesses who were at  Black Unity’s Children’s March.

Skinner says his department is one hundred percent committed to investigating the case to its fullest.

“We understand that it is a tough time and a sensitive time and we understand that trust and legitimacy is in short supply in my profession and with this police department.” Skinner said in a video news release Monday.

Credit Isiah Wagoner
Isiah Wagoner in his hospital bed, recovering from getting hit by a car.

The car hit one of Black Unity’s leaders, Isiah Wagoner, who was recovering at a hospital. In a Facebook post, Wagoner wrote he was struck after he moved toward the vehicle that was headed toward the crowd. He says Travis Waleri, driving a Subaru, intentionally sped up and flipped him off as he ran him over.  Police say Waleri is cooperating with the police investigation. No arrests have been made.

Statement from Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis regarding pedestrian-vehicle crash
A very disturbing incident took place yesterday in our community in which Isiah Wagoner, a leader with Black Unity, was hit by a car during a peaceful Black Lives Matter March. I understand that he was trying to ensure the safety of marchers when he was struck, and I wish him a speedy recovery. 
I want to thank those of you that have reached out to me about this, and I want to assure you all that I will be staying in close touch with EPD as they proceed with this investigation. We understand the deep concerns embedded in such an incident at this time and place and will make sure you, the public, are kept apprised of what is happening to address it. 
EPD is currently asking for the public’s help and seeking video from the incident, please use this phone number: 1-541-262-5388.
I also want to reiterate that our community does not and will not tolerate violent acts of hate or bias and we are committed to protecting people’s rights to have their voices heard as we work together to address racial injustice. The Eugene Police Department is continuing to investigate if there is any hate or bias component to this incident.
It is vital that we support people’s rights to march and protest peacefully. The City of Eugene will continue to work with those organizing marches to help facilitate and improve upon safety at all events.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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