A replacement memorial to a British-Nigerian man who drowned after being chased by police has been vandalised. The laminated copy of the tribute to David Oluwale was placed on Leeds Bridge on Wednesday after the original blue plaque was stolen shortly after being unveiled on Monday.


West Yorkshire Police said it was treating both incidents as hate crimes. A spokesperson said inquiries were ongoing to identify those responsible for the damage.

Dr Emily Zobel Marshall from the David Oluwale Memorial Association said: "Hate will not win and we will continue to keep putting up plaques to honour Mr Oluwale. We will persevere," she said.

"There has been a huge show of solidarity from the people of Leeds, and the council and the civic trust and other institutions." A third plaque was installed on Thursday afternoon.

Last month, the David Oluwale Bridge was installed over the River Aire in what the city council said was a lasting reminder"of the importance of equality and inclusion. David Oluwale migrated from Nigeria in August 1949, hiding on a cargo ship destined for Hull. He spent his final two years homeless in Leeds city centre, routinely mentally and physically abused by two police officers.

In the early hours of 18 April 1969, he was chased on to a bridge over the River Aire, and his body was found in the water two weeks later. Two officers were later jailed for a series of assaults, but justice and civil rights campaigners said their trial presented a deliberately negative portrait of Mr Oluwale as a social nuisance.