A sculpted bust of the late Breonna Taylor in downtown Oakland, California, was smashed over the weekend, about two weeks after it was installed.
The bust, according to sculptor Leo Carson, was created in support of Black Lives Matter, a radical organization that has called for defunding police and dismantling the nuclear family.
“This vandalism is an act of racist aggression, and it shows why sculpture and art matters,” Carson told KQED. “I made this sculpture to support the Black Lives Matter movement and while I’m overcome with rage and sadness at their cowardly act, their vandalism will make her even more potent.”
The Oakland Police Department is “aware of the incident,” according to KQED, and the matter is currently under investigation.
On Monday, December 21st there was a newly erected #SayHerName bust of Breonna Taylor in Downtown Oakland.
Today, the day after Christmas, it’s now destroyed.
Credit for the art is listed as Leo Carson / leo_carson_art on Instagram pic.twitter.com/jwu2H5A65s
— Amir Aziz (@aziaticblack) December 26, 2020
In September, Republican Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced that no officers were to be indicted for murder in Taylor’s case.
Two officers in the case were cleared, and another was charged with wanton endangerment in the first degree — which comes with a maximum sentence of five years — for shooting into a neighboring apartment while returning gunfire sparked by Taylor’s boyfriend, The Daily Wire reported at the time.
Taylor was fatally shot by plainclothes officers who raided the 26-year-old’s Louisville, Kentucky, home back in March.
Though the mainstream narrative surrounding Taylor’s death promoted the idea that she was killed when officers raided her home without knocking, media reports, testimony, and statement from Cameron indicate that officers involved did knock before the raid.
Destruction of statues has become increasingly prevalent across the United States. For example, in October, protesters toppled statues of former Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt in Portland.
“Police declared a riot shortly before 1 a.m. early on Monday morning (Oct. 12) after rioters began vandalizing and destroying property in downtown Portland,” The Daily Wire reported at the time. “The destruction and chaos came out of an event that organizers had dubbed ‘Indigenous People’s Day Of Rage,’ according to fliers that were handed out at the gathering.”
Over the summer, rioters defaced and toppled statues of Junipero Serra. “Rioters toppled a statue of the Catholic saint in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park on Friday, knocked down another statue near Los Angeles’ Union Station on Saturday, and defaced several others around the state over the weekend,” The Daily Wire reported June 24. The California Catholic Conference of Bishops fiercely condemned the destructive acts.
Rioters also destroyed a Christopher Columbus statue in June that was sculpted by an Italian immigrant and given as a gift from Minnesota’s Italian-Americans, The Daily Wire reported. “The 10-foot bronze statue was pulled from its granite base by several dozen people led by a Minnesota-based Native American activist outside the state Capitol,” according to Reuters.
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