As the country's third president, Jefferson is revered in the US as a leading light of the country's foundation, having written the Declaration of Independence and being credited with shaping the US system of government.
Although he held positions against the institution of slavery, Jefferson’s household had more than 600 slaves. Historians believe that Jefferson himself fathered children with a former slave woman.
According to the outlet, the statue was the place of gathering for protesters who embarked on a march in support of the Black Lives Matter movement on Sunday. They found the statue toppled, apparently by a small group, upon their return to the site on the same day.
So the next question for PPS, is it time to change the name? RT @evanbellKATU: A look at the statue of Thomas Jefferson that was toppled at Jefferson High School in Portland #LiveOnK2 pic.twitter.com/J1JgLF2x3M— ... (@ali_N_pdx) June 15, 2020
The base of the statue was spray-painted with the words "slave owner," pictures shared by the publication showed. The scene elicited cheers and jubilation from the protesters, the reports said.
The incident comes as a wave of anti-racism sentiment has swept the US, and much of the world, after the killing of African-American man George Floyd at the hands of police in late May.
Protesters have begun to tear down or deface statues of historical figures with troubling racial records.