Oakland police are investigating the vandalism of a Breonna Taylor memorial in the city.
On Sunday, Oakland’s CBS SF reported that city police are investigating an act of vandalism involving a bust memorializing Breonna Taylor. The bust was installed just two weeks ago, near City Hall in Latham Square by Leo Carson, a sculptor who worked in the food industry before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the industry.
Carson doesn’t believe the vandalism was a random act. “I don’t think there’s a single person in Oakland who doesn’t know who Breonna Taylor is,” he said. “I don’t think you attack a sculpture like that by accident. I think that was an act of racism and an act of aggression and intimidation.”
Taylor, a 26-year-old Louisville native, was fatally shot on March 13 when plainclothes officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove forced entry into her apartment as part of a no-knock raid. Hankison was only charged with wanton endangerment for endangering Taylor’s neighbors with gunfire. Taylor’s death, as well as the lack of murder charges for the officers involved, along with George Floyd’s in Minneapolis, sparked worldwide protests over the summer.
Carson plans to rebuild the memorial, starting a GoFundMe campaign for his efforts. The campaign has already eclipsed its $5,000 goal in a matter of days. Local lawyer Joe Cotchett also volunteered funding for the sculpture’s restoration.
“It’s scandalous and outrageous that anybody would do such a thing,” he said. “She was a wonderful human being…the whole situation is preposterous–first her death, and now this.”