An artist’s tribute to the memory of Breonna Taylor in Downtown Oakland that was vandalized over the weekend, and left in pieces, has now disappeared.
The artist says the thieves won’t stop him and that he’ll rebuild, but he’s calling on the city of Oakland to step up as well.
Leo Caraon said he used 12 bags of concrete mix to reinforce the place where he plans to install his next Breonna Taylor statue after discovering Tuesday morning that the first statue he created was gone.
“Last night, the racists returned and they removed the remaining sculpture bust,” said the artist. “This is what’s here now.”
Two weeks ago, the Oakland artist installed the sculpture along Broadway Avenue as a way to pay tribute to Taylor who died at the hands of Louisville police. By Saturday, a vandal or perhaps a group of them pounded away at the sculpture -- leaving the bust in pieces.
Now, a bouquet of flowers fills up the empty space where Carson’s sculpture once existed.
“This proves this was not a one off event. A drunk racist. But a coordinated effort to undermine the Black Lives Matter movement,” said Carson.
He said someone on his behalf already filed a police report and Oakland Police say they are looking into it.
“I want this to be a symbol of joy for Breonna Taylor,” he said. “And no matter what they do, we can rebuild it. When you mess with a sculptor, I know how to rebuild things. You can’t defeat that.”
Speaking of rebuilding, Carson says he’s got plenty of money to do that. After the statue was vandalized, Carson created this Go Fund Me page, which raised more than $21,000.
The unemployed server says that’s enough money to reconstruct the statue in bronze and any leftover money will be donated to the Taylor family.
Carson says it take him months to rebuild another statue from scratch but in the meantime, he’s calling on the city to create a permanent space for the sculpture once it is completed.
“We’re calling for Mayor Libby Schaaf to recognize this space the movement has won and to accept this space for a permanent statue of Breonna Taylor and all the black women who have been victims of police brutality and whose names have been forgotten there’s thousands of them,” Carson said.