Hate Crime Charge For Pair Who Painted Over Black Lives Matter Mural

The pair was caught on video and now face a year in jail if convicted.

Two residents of Martinez, Calif., have been charged with a hate crime among other misdemeanor vandalism charges for painting over a Black Lives Matter mural outside a courthouse, according to the East Bay Times.

The mural had just been completed outside of the Wakefield Taylor Courthouse and had been approved on a temporary basis on July 1. But two individuals, identified as David Nelson, 53, and Nicole Anderson, 42, came to the site with black paint and began to paint over the statement. 

The mural was later restored.

The confrontation between the pair and onlookers was captured on video and spread widely on social media. They were charged with vandalism under $400, possession of tools to commit vandalism and violation of civil rights. They could face up to a year in jail if they are convicted.
“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,” said Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton, in a statement. “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. We must continue to elevate discussions and actually listen to one another in an effort to heal our community and country.”

In a separate incident in another part of the town, police are investigating who painted the words  “white lives matter” across a roadway. A woman was found by police trying to paint over the words with black paint. Authorities are attempting to identify the original painters.

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