Anti-racism protesters in the city of Bristol, in southwest England, have pulled down a statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston.
During a demonstration on Sunday in solidarity with the US Black Lives Matter movement, protesters tied the bronze statue – which was first erected in 1895 – with rope, before pulling it down as the surrounding crowd cheered.
Demonstrators were later seen rolling the statue to the nearby harbor, throwing it into the River Avon.
While the incident garnered much celebration amongst protesters, local police say an investigation has been launched into the incident.
“There was a small group of people who clearly committed an act of criminal damage in pulling down a statue near Bristol Harbourside,” Avon and Somerset police said Sunday in a statement. “An investigation will be carried out to identify those involved and we are already collating footage of the incident."
According to local police, Sunday’s Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol was attended by an estimated 10,000 people.
“The vast majority of those who came to voice their concerns about racial inequality and injustice did so peacefully and respectfully,” Avon and Somerset police said.
“Keeping the public safe was out greatest priority and thankfully there were no instances of disorder and no arrests were made,” they added.