Police launch probe after Breonna Taylor statue smashed in Oakland, California - Metro US

Police launch probe after Breonna Taylor statue smashed in Oakland, California

FILE PHOTO: People react after a decision in the criminal case against police officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor, in Louisville

(Reuters) – Police said 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.

The Oakland Police Department said late 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, told the 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, early on March 13.

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 U.S. after the death in May of George Floyd, a Black man was killed when a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

(This story has been refiled to fix typographical error in Paragraph 1)

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

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