A statue of US Founding Father Thomas Jefferson has been torn down outside a high school named after him in the state of Oregon’s largest city of Portland, APA reports citing The Oregonian.
As the country's third president, Jefferson is revered in the US as a leading light of the country's foundation, having written the Declaration of Independence and being credited with shaping the US system of government.
Although he held positions against the institution of slavery, Jefferson’s household had more than 600 slaves. Historians believe that Jefferson himself fathered children with a former slave woman.
According to the outlet, the statue was the place of gathering for protesters who embarked on a march in support of the Black Lives Matter movement on Sunday. They found the statue toppled, apparently by a small group, upon their return to the site on the same day.
The base of the statue was spray-painted with the words "slave owner," pictures shared by the publication showed. The scene elicited cheers and jubilation from the protesters, the reports said.
According to The Oregonian, more than 30 percent of the students at the high school are of African-American ethnicity and another 30 are Hispanic and other minorities.
The incident comes as a wave of anti-racism sentiment has swept the US, and much of the world, after the killing of African-American man George Floyd at the hands of police in late May.
Protesters have begun to tear down or deface statues of historical figures with troubling racial records.