A white couple from Martinez, California have now been hit with hate crime charges after a video posted to Twitter showed them painting over a Black Lives Matter mural on the 4th of July.
The bright yellow mural was painted on the street outside of a courthouse in Martinez, and read “Black Lives Matter.” The city handpicked the site when it issued the permit to the mural’s organizer, Justin Gomez. Sadly, after having only been painted one hour prior, it was partially destroyed, says Gomez.
The Contra Costa District Attorney’s office identified the man and woman in the video as David Richard Nelson, 53, and Nicole Claudia Anderson, 42. The video showed Anderson with a large paint roller in hand, attempting to cover up the letters “B” and “L” of “Black Lives Matter,” ironically with black paint. Nelson accompanied her, wearing Trump 2020 gear, al while recording onlookers that yelled at them to “stop.” He was also heard saying, “the narrative of police brutality, the narrative of oppression, the narrative of racism. It’s a lie. It’s a lie.”
However, According to a report by The New York Times, the mural has since been restored, and local residents say they’re “maintaining a presence” to prevent any further vandalism. “The mural completed last weekend was a peaceful and powerful way to communicate the importance of Black lives in Contra Costa County and the country,” the District Attorney said.
In addition to their hate crime charges, the pair was also charged with vandalism under $400, and possession of tools to commit vandalism or graffiti. If convicted, they face up to a year in jail.
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