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Jefferson Statue Toppled at Oregon High School Named for Him

Jefferson Statue Toppled at Oregon High School Named for Him

The bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson is severed from it's base outside Jefferson High School in Portland. (Alex Milan Tracy/Sipa via AP)

By    |   Monday, 15 June 2020 04:25 PM

A statue of Thomas Jefferson was toppled at an Oregon high school named after the former U.S. president as part of a demonstration over the death of a black man who died in police custody.

Twelve people were arrested as part of the demonstrations Sunday that spread across Portland and escalated into riots at times, with rocks, bottles, glass and explosives being thrown, local NBC network affiliate KGW reported.

The Jefferson statue was pulled down at Jefferson High School in North Portland, where about a thousand people gathered as part of Black Lives Matter-organized demonstration and marched to Alberta Park, about a mile away.

Speakers told those gathered that they picked the site because it was an historically black neighborhood that had been gentrified, the Oregonian reported. Jefferson High School reportedly has a black population of 32%, the highest percentage of any high school in the state.

Earlier in the day, the pedestal of the statue had been defaced with the spray-painted words “slave owner” and “George Floyd 846,” a reference to the black man who died in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. Floyd died after being arrested for using a counterfeit $20 bill at a local grocery store and video that has been widely viewed showed him being restrained by a white police officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck for, according to documents charging the officer, eight minutes and 46 seconds.

Jefferson publicly criticized slavery but, as a Virginia plantation owner, had numerous slaves during his lifetime.

“We’re taking this city back," one speaker said, exhorting the crowd, "one school at a time. One racist statue at a time.”

The bulk of the crowd began their march to Alberta Park between 6 and 7 p.m., reports said. By the time they returned, the statue was on the ground on its side with a sign “black women inspire me,” local CBS network affiliate KOIN reported.

The Jefferson statue was one of three topped in Oregon over the weekend. “The Pioneer,” a 13-foot high bronze statue of a man, and “Pioneer Mother,” a 6-foot bronze sculpture, on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene both were dislodged from their pedestals, KOIN reported.

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US
A statue of Thomas Jefferson was toppled at an Oregon high school named after the Declaration of Independence author as part of a demonstration over the death of a black man who died in police custody.
jefferson, statue, floyd, oregon, high school
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2020-25-15
Monday, 15 June 2020 04:25 PM
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