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Edward Colston: Man, 24, Arrested for Pulling down Slave Trader Statue

Google maps Edward Colston.jpg
Screenshot showing the Colston statue located in the middle of the Bristol harbour (this has since been updated by Google Maps)

Bristol Police say the man was arrested because of criminal damage.

Level: Easy/Easy+


Originally published on 01 July 2020

Police have arrested 24-year-old man for pulling down the statue of 17th Century slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol last month.

Protesters pulled down the statue during a Black Lives Matter protest on 7 June and then put it in the River Avon (in Bristol).

The Bristol police did not arrest anyone at the protest. However, after the protest the police published 15 pictures of people at the protest and said they wanted to speak them.

The police say they arrested the 24-year-old man for criminal damage but they have let him go while they investigate the crime.

The statue was in the city centre for 125 years.

After protesters pulled it down, they threw it in the water near Pero’s Bridge.

The council has pulled the statue out of the water, and they will display it in a museum with placards from the Black Lives Matter protest.

Liz Hughes from the Bristol police said on June 22, “The protest attracted a lot of attention around the world and the public have very strong opinions about it – but in the eyes of the law someone has committed a crime and we have to investigate it. We want people to know we are doing a fair investigation”.

The investigation has not finished, Bristol Police said.

Adapted from HuffPost UK

New vocabulary:

  • criminal damage – harming or breaking someone's property, illegally

  • slave trader – someone who bought and sold slaves

  • investigate – look into a crime

  • investigation – the act of looking into a crime

  • council – the group of people elected to govern a particular area, town, or city

  • in the eyes of the law – according to the law

  • committed a crime​​ – broke the law


Do you think the man should be arrested?

Do you think it is good that the protesters pulled the statue down?

Are there any other statues that you think should come down?

Edward Colston vocab
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