A white man and white woman who painted over a Black Lives Matter mural in California over the weekend have been charged with a hate crime.
What We Know:
- David Nelson and Nicole Anderson were charged with three misdemeanors: a violation of civil rights, vandalism, and possession of tools to commit vandalism or graffiti when the two painted over a mural in front of a courthouse in Martinez, California on July 4.
- Anderson was seen in a YouTube video wearing a red T-shirt and flip flops. She started painting over the mural with black paint. Nelson was wearing a red Trump shirt that read “Four More Years” and started filming Anderson. He said on video, “We’re sick of this narrative, that’s what’s wrong. The narrative of police brutality, the narrative of oppression, the narrative of racism, it’s a lie.”
- District Attorney Diana Becton said in a statement, “We must address the root and byproduct of systemic racism in our country. The Black Lives Matter movement is an important civil rights cause that deserves all of our attention.” She says the mural was meant to promote peace and to communicate the importance of Black lives not only in Contra Costa Country but across the country.
- When CNN reached out to Nelson, he said, “I have no comment – for you anyway.” No comments have been made by Anderson.
- Martinez Police Chief Manjit Sappal says the community spent a “considerable amount” of time painting the mural all for two people to destroy it. He says the community received a permit to paint the mural on July 4.
The mural has since been repainted and the area where the mural is located has been blocked off. Nelson and Anderson have been sent notices to appear in court and if they are convicted of the misdemeanor charges, each could face up to a year in the county jail.