VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – The statue of Captain James Cook that stood in front of the Empress Hotel in Victoria has been defaced, torn down, and thrown into the harbour.
According to investigators, the statue on Government Street was dismantled just after 8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 1.
Video posted online shows a number of people tugging at a rope tied to the monument, pulling so hard it snaps at the base, toppling to the ground. The large, surrounding crowd cheers as the figure falls.
“This was moments before his body was sunk in the Salish Sea by Nuu Chah Nulth Youth and friends,” the post on Instagram reads.
Images shared by Climate Justice Victoria captured the moment the statue was thrown into the harbour.
Meanwhile, photos of what remained show the base of the statue covered in what appears to be red paint along with handprints.
Many have been calling on the B.C. capital to remove all monuments that “celebrate settler colonialism.”
“Safe, peaceful and lawful protests are permitted under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Property damage is not,” Victoria police say, adding they are now looking for several people.
Police have shared images of two suspects they are hoping to identify.
Investigators are asking anyone with information or video of the incident to call the Victoria Police Report Desk at 250.995.7654, extension 1. You can also contact Crime Stoppers at 1.800.222.8477.