Police issue statement as man is due in court over destruction of David Oluwale replica blue plaque
and live on Freeview channel 276
The man is due to appear in in Leeds Magistrates Court on Wednesday June 14 having been charged with postal requisition with criminal damage of the replica blue plaque at Leeds Bridge honouring Mr Oluwale's life and legacy on July 7 last year.
Gregory Michael Palmer, 60, is also charged with racially aggravated criminal damage in relation to another incident taking place in Wellington Street in April 2022.
The replica Palmer is accused of destroying was put up after the first blue plaque was stolen on April 25 last year, just hours after being installed.
The West Yorkshire Police said: "A man is due to appear in court charged with destroying a replica plaque commemorating the life and legacy of David Oluwale.
"Gregory Michael Palmer, aged 60, from Leeds, is due to appear at Leeds Magistrates Court tomorrow having been charged by postal requisition with criminal damage of the replica plaque at Leeds Bridge on July 7 last year.
"He has also been charged with racially aggravated criminal damage in relation to an incident at business premises in Wellington Street, Leeds, on April 17, 2022.
"The replica plaque was the second replacement to have been put in place at the site of the original metal plaque, which was stolen on April 25 last year.
"A man, aged in his thirties, was arrested on May 9 in relation to the theft of the original plaque.
"He remains released under investigation and enquiries are continuing."
David Oluwale was a Nigerian man who travelled to the UK for a better life, and settled in Leeds. Despite settling in the city, he struggled with homelessness and was regularly harassed. In 1969, he was last seen running from two police officers before drowning in the River Aire.
His death led to one of the first prosecutions of police in Britain involved in the death of a black person.
The blue plaque was unveiled by the Leeds Civic Trust and the David Oluwale Memorial Association last year, and was stolen just hours later. A new plaque was unveiled in October last year, and was later destroyed.