It took several months for the clay to make the Bay Area sculptor hand shape the head of Breonna Taylor, then finish it with a dark brown satin glaze.
However, less than two weeks after the statue commemorating Ms. Taylor was installed in a busy downtown plaza in Oakland, California, its creator, Leo Carson, stated that he held the destroyed building with the same hand. Ceramic bust.
Late last week, the sculpture was smashed in several places, arousing widespread condemnation from the community and prompting a police investigation.
In Latham Square Square near Auckland City Hall, the vandalized statue bears a plaque with Ms. Taylor’s name and the phrase “say her name”.
In an interview on Monday night, Carson said: “I built it to support the black life issues movement, but it also made it a target of racist aggression.”
A spokeswoman for the Oakland Police Department said in an email on Monday night that the police had filed a report on the incident and the vandalism is under investigation.
Carson is 30 years old and white. He said that he spent about $600 to make the sculpture and put it on the square on December 12. He recorded the installation on Instagram, when someone warned that it might be strongly opposed. The person wrote: “Pull it down, this is the source of the riot.”
Mr. Carson had visited Home Depot and a ceramics studio while making sculptures, and he said he was prepared for the possibility of damage to the installation.
He said: “It’s always in my mind.” “I just feel like I still have to do this. It doesn’t matter.”
Auckland Mayor Libby Schaaf (Libby Schaaf) condemned the vandalism in a Twitter post on Monday.
Schaff wrote: “This is a vicious attack on the light and justice pursued in the name of Breonna Taylor.” “We will keep going; Auckland will not tolerate acts of hatred.”
Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, also condemned the damage to the sculpture.
Greenblatt said on Twitter on Monday: “This kind of vandalism ignores Brenna’s memory, what she represents and the artist’s work.”
Mr. Carson said that the community’s support was exciting, and he raised about $8,000 on the GoFundMe page to build a new sculpture out of bronze. He said he plans to donate the remaining funds to Ms. Taylor’s family.
The three police officers suspected of Ms. Taylor’s death avoided homicide in September, setting off a new round of protests across the country. A grand jury in Louisville charged a fired officer on three counts of wanton harm.
Mr. Carson said someone on Instagram told him about vandalism over the weekend.
He said: “In this sense, it is not surprising, but it does not reflect Oakland.”
The sculptor said that he quickly went to inspect the sculpture so that the broken fragments could be recovered. He said that these fragments would be repaired and eventually used in the mold of the bronze sculpture.
He said: “It gave her a sense of wholeness again.”