He was petitioned by 11,000 people for his withdrawal.
After being knocked down, the demonstrators rolled him over to the harbor and threw him into the water.
Earlier, protester John McAllister, 71, demolished black trash bags used to hide the statue to denounce it in front of other protesters.
He said: “It is written” erected by the citizens of Bristol, in memory of one of the city’s most virtuous and wisest sons. “
“The man was a slave trader. He was generous to Bristol but he was out of slavery and absolutely despicable. It’s an insult to the people of Bristol. ”
According to BristolLive, ropes were used to pull the statue from its base, which was followed by cheers among the crowd when the bronze figure struck the ground.
Videos show the moment the statue was knocked down, which was greeted with cheers and people waving their arms in the air, before running towards it.
The images also show the statue covered with graffiti.
Photos and videos on social networks show the statue rolled by protesters towards the port.
She is now in the water, according to BristolLive journalist Tristan Cork, who tweeted: “The statue of Bristol slave owner Edward Colston has just been thrown into the floating harbor by a huge crowd. ”
Protester Solly Cox, 24, said: “It was really very powerful.
“They dressed him in bondage gear and then tied the ropes around him.
“When he was shot, everyone cheered.
“After Colston was shot, a guy got up and knelt on the neck.
“It was just a really powerful moment.
“After the statue was lowered, it sort of started. ”
Avon and Somerset Police have now launched an investigation to identify a small group of people “who clearly committed an act of criminal damage” by killing the statue.
Superintendent Andy Bennett said, “The Black Lives Matter demonstration in Bristol today brought together some 10,000 people.
“The vast majority of those who came to express their concerns about racial inequality and injustice did so in a peaceful and respectful manner.
“The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has added a different dynamic to what was always to be a difficult police operation.
“And I want to thank the organizers for their efforts to encourage protesters to follow government directives – a message that many have clearly heeded, doing their best to distance themselves socially despite the large crowd.
“Public safety was our top priority and luckily there were no incidents of disorder and no arrests were made.
“However, a small group of people clearly committed a crime by bringing down a statue near Bristol Harborside.
“An investigation will be carried out to identify the people involved and we are already collecting images of the incident.
“I would like to thank our partners on the Bristol City Council for helping us make this event safe for all participants.”
Colston was a slave trader from a family of merchants, who had a significant presence in Bristol for more than 300 years.
David Olusoga, who presents A house through time , told The Telegraph last month that the statue should be removed.
In an article in The Guardian in 2017, he said that “no British city is more willingly blind to its history than Bristol.”
According to Historic England, the statue was carved by John Cassidy of Manchester, with an inscription that read “erected by citizens of Bristol as a memorial to one of their city’s most virtuous and wise sons AD 1895”.
Colston’s involvement in the slave trade through the British-based Royal African Company was the source of much of the money he awarded to Bristol, the website added.
It comes just 24 hours after the statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square was vandalized when thousands of people attended a Black Lives Matter rally.
Police surrounded the monument after green graffiti was scribbled on Saturday.
The photos show demonstrators climbing on the statue while holding signs.
Thousands of people take part in a demonstration in the city after the death of George Floyd which sparked demonstrations around the world.
Dozens of protests took place across the UK this weekend.
Authorities urged groups to protest peacefully after small crowds in London became “angry and intent on violence” yesterday. A policewoman was injured after being thrown from her horse in the capital in the midst of the scuffles.
Metropolitan police superintendent Jo Edwards said law enforcement wanted “people’s passion to come and their voices to be heard” during today’s protests in the capital and in other cities. ‘other big cities.
“We understand the passion of the people to come and make their voices heard, they protested largely without incident,” she said.
“Our officers were professional and very small, but there was a smaller group that intended to do violence to the police.
“Twenty-three officers were injured, doing their job, monitoring the protests in the past few days, and this is completely unacceptable. ”
Dame Cressida Dick, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said the attacks on the police were “shocking and completely unacceptable”.
Fourteen people were arrested yesterday during protests in London. The police they met will now carry out a “post-event investigation”, which will also examine the “circumstances” of the fall of the horse’s agent.