Police investigate after Breonna Taylor statue defaced in Oakland

Authorities yet to name suspect or motive for statue’s destruction, which sculptor calls ‘act of racist aggression’.

A man pauses at the memorial of Breonna Taylor before a march, after a grand jury decided not to bring homicide charges against police officers in the fatal shooting that killed her [File: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters]

The Oakland Police Department said late on Monday they were investigating what appeared to be an act of vandalism after a statue of Breonna Taylor erected to honour her memory was smashed in Oakland, California.

Oakland police have not identified any suspects or motives. The statue was found smashed on Saturday, about two weeks after it was installed.

Leo Carson, the artist who created the bust, told media that he considered the smashing of Taylor’s statue “an act of racist aggression aimed at suppressing the fight for Black freedom”.

The ceramic bust depicted a smiling Taylor and was installed in downtown Oakland near City Hall. On its base is a plaque that reads, “Say her name: Breonna Taylor.”

Taylor, a Black emergency medical technician, was shot and killed during a botched police raid of her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 13.

Police fired 32 shots after Taylor’s boyfriend fired one at officers he thought were intruders. Six of the 32 shots hit Taylor, killing her.

The case came back to light as demonstrations against racism and police brutality spread across the US after the death in May of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed when a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

The city of Louisville agreed to pay Taylor’s family $12m and institute reforms to their police department.

Protests have continued throughout 2020 as Black Lives Matter organisers and their allies demonstrated against police violence.

Source: News Agencies