A statue of a black woman killed in a police shooting has been destroyed in a suspected racist attack a fortnight after it was erected. Leo Carson’s plaster bust of Breonna Taylor that sits close to Oakland City Hall in California was smashed over the weekend, with the attack leaving the memorial damaged beyond repair.
Carson said: ‘Looks like they hit it with a baseball bat along the back. I don’t think there’s a single person in Oakland who doesn’t know who Breonna Taylor is, and I don’t think you attack a sculpture like that by accident. And I think that it was an act of racism and an act of aggression and intimidation.’
Oakland Police are investigating the vandalism, with local lawyer Joe Cotchett among those outraged by the bust’s destruction. He said: ‘It’s scandalous and outrageous that anybody would do such a thing. She was a wonderful human being… The whole situation is preposterous — first her death, and now this.’
A GoFundMe page raising money to re-make the statue in vandal-proof bronze is already close to hitting its $5,000 target, with Cotchett also offering to pay for the replacement, KPIX reported.
Taylor was a paramedic from Louisville, Kentucky, who was shot dead in her home in March.
Three white, plain-clothes police officers forced entry into her apartment while probing a drug ring.
Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker, who was also inside, fired a warning shot from his legally-owned gun, prompting the cops to return fire and kill Taylor.
The officers involved say they announced themselves as police before entering, but Walker says he did not hear that announcement, and believed them to be intruders.
The deaths of Taylor and black security guard George Floyd sparked a summer of Black Lives Matter protests across the United States.
One of the three officers who raided Taylor’s apartment – Brett Hankison – was charged with wanton endangerment for allegedly endangering the late EMT’s neighbors with carelessly-fired shots.
No criminal charges were filed over Taylor’s death.
Her family were awarded a record $12million by the City of Louisville, whose leaders also vowed to reform police practices.
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