Statue of Father Junipero Serra toppled in California protest

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Posted at 7:07 PM, Jul 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-05 22:07:24-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A statue of a Spanish missionary in downtown Sacramento, California has been toppled by demonstrators.

The Sacramento Bee reports the statue of Father Junipero Serra in Capitol Park was brought down during a protest focusing on the rights and historical struggle of indigenous people.

The 18th century Roman Catholic priest founded nine of California’s 21 Spanish missions and forced Native Americans to stay at those missions after they were converted or face brutal punishment.

Statues of Serra have been defaced in California for several years by people who said he destroyed tribes and their culture.