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Ashland's Say Their Names memorial reported stolen

An Ashland memorial that commemorated Black people killed by police around the country was torn down overnight, and authorities are working to figure out what happened to it.

The Say Their Names Memorial, which pinned more than 100 T-shirts with names such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Freddie Gray to a fence along the bike path near Railroad Park, was removed as of Saturday by an unknown person or group, according to an Ashland police Facebook post Saturday evening.

The police department took a theft report for the memorial Saturday and is asking the public for tips to determine what happened to the memorial project erected in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Ashland police's anonymous tip line is 541-552-2333 and is monitored by detectives 24 hours a day. APD detectives can also be emailed at tipline@ashland.or.us.

According to the Say Their Names Facebook page, organizers say they last saw the memorial intact at 9 p.m. Friday.

“We discovered it gone this morning,” the post reads, later adding, “The Memorial may have been destroyed, but our call to action continues.”

The people who erected the installation wanted to remain anonymous to honor the dead, according to an earlier news report. The installation was erected anonymously on June 28, marking the anniversary of an 1844 law passed in the Oregon Territory that prohibited slavery in the state, but also prohibited Black people at the time.

The Say Their Names memorial near Ashland's Railroad Park was reported stolen sometime Friday night and Saturday morning. John Darling file photo for the Mail Tribune and Ashland Tidings.