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Wagoner Departs Black Unity, Will Testify On Hit-And-Run Incident

Brian Bull

A now former leader with the Black Unity group has stepped down, to focus on other things while still helping the Eugene community.

Isiah Wagoner says his departure is a positive and mutual one. Over the past six weeks, he’s been a prominent voice in the movement. 

Wagoner was also faced with several dangerous situations.  This includes the May 29 riots that saw several Eugene businesses trashed and temporarily shuttered, and a confrontation with an armed provocateur outside a Black Lives Matter march a few days later.

Credit Jeff W. Will
Isiah Wagoner (center) works to keep a crowd from converging on a man who emerged from his vehicle wielding a semi-automatic rifle during a May 31st Black Lives Matter protest and march.

Then on June 28, a driver identified as Travis Paul Waleri hit Wagoner during a children’s march, and fled.  Wagoner says this Friday, he and 15 other people will testify before a grand jury about the incident.

"I don’t want to speak on something I don’t exactly know, but I’m pretty sure that it’s to determine exactly what the charges are going to be, at that time," Wagoner told KLCC's Brian Bull. 

Bull then asked Wagoner what the best possible outcome he'd like to personally see come from the matter.

"Justice," answered Wagoner.  "Plain and simple. Justice.”

Wagoner said he’s undergoing physical therapy and emotionally processing the hit-and-run.  He was among those present at Saturday’s “Speak Up and Dribble” event in Eugene.

Meanwhile, the Lane County DA's office tells KLCC that a county grand jury will begin investigating. But if the U.S. Attorney’s office adopts the case, they will defer.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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