The ceramic bust, which features a smiling Taylor, was installed in downtown Oakland, near Town Hall. The bust was attached to a base with a plaque that read “Say her name: Breonna Taylor”.
But on Saturday, barely two weeks after its installation, the sculpture was found in pieces. Pieces of the back and side of the bust were missing and parts of Taylor’s ceramic face were chipped.
The Oakland Police Department confirmed to CNN that it was investigating the act of vandalism, although it did not identify any suspects or potential motives.
Leo Carson, the artist who created the bust, told CNN he viewed it as “an act of racist aggression aimed at suppressing the struggle for black freedom.”
The act of vandalism was an affront to Carson’s motivation behind the bust, which he said he created to “uplift and embolden the protesters” when they gather in downtown Oakland to organize against the racism and injustice, he told CNN.
In March, Taylor, a 26-year-old paramedic, was shot dead by police at her Louisville, Ky. Apartment in a botched raid. His death at the hands of law enforcement and his proximity to the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd helped fuel a massive movement for racial justice and police reform.
To prevent future damage to Taylor’s bust, Carson intends to rebuild it in bronze with donations from the GoFundMe page, which has already surpassed its goal of $ 5,000.
“The vandals wanted to intimidate and silence the Black Lives Matter movement, and it’s a demonstration that there are few and there are thousands of us,” Carson said of his fundraising goal.
Any remaining funds will be donated to Taylor’s family, Carson wrote on the fundraising platform.