Oakland police investigate smashed statue of Breonna Taylor

Police are investigating what appears to be an act of vandalism after a statue of Breonna Taylor, erected to honour her memory, was smashed in Oakland, California.

The Oakland police department said late on Monday it was looking into the incident, although it had 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, said he considered the smashing of Taylor’s statue “an act of racist aggression aimed at suppressing the fight for black freedom”.

The ceramic bust depicts 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.”

Matt Bigler, a local journalist, tweeted that a Californian law firm had offered to pay for the statue’s restoration.

Taylor, a black emergency medical technician, was shot and killed during a botched police raid of her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky, in the early hours of 13 March.

Taylor’s boyfriend, who was with her when the police burst into the home, fired once at what he said he believed were intruders. Three police officers responded with 32 shots, six of which struck 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.


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