Police in California are investigating the smashing of a ceramic bust of Breonna Taylor erected to honour her memory after she was shot and killed in a botched police raid in Kentucky.
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, 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”.
December 21st – a newly erected #SayHerName bust of Breonna Taylor in Oakland.
December 26 – it’s destroyed. pic.twitter.com/k18N3AoCo4
— Bartholomew J. Simpson (@JayLeTr3) December 28, 2020
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 US after the death in May of George Floyd, a black man killed when a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.