A Trump supportive California couple has been charged with hate crimes after being painted over a sanctioned Black Lives Matter mural with black paint.
Nicole Anderson, 42, and David Nelson, 53, were charged by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office with three felony counts, including a hate crime.
They were videotaped on July 4 and daubed a Black Lives Matter mural in Martinez by painting over it with black paint.
Anderson can be seen in the images with a large paint roller to paint over the letters ‘B’ and ‘L’ in the word black, which was painted yellow.
According to the district attorney, a resident of Martinez applied for a permit on July 1 to paint the temporary mural for the city’s Wakefield Taylor Courthouse. The permit was approved by Martinez city officials, and the painting took place on July 4.
Nelson and Anderson arrived at the site of the mural after it was completed with painting supplies. Video of them has been widely shared on social media.
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Nicole Anderson (right), 42, and David Nelson (left), 53, have been charged by the Contra Costa County prosecutor with three crimes, including a hate crime
The pair were captured on video on 4 Violating a Black Lives Matter mural in Martinez July by painting over it with black paint
“We must tackle the root and by-product of systemic racism in our country. The Black Lives Matter movement is a major cause of civil rights that deserve all our attention, ”said Diana Becton, Contra Costa County prosecutor.
The mural completed last weekend was a peaceful and powerful way to communicate the importance of black life in Contra Costa County and the country. We must continue to uplift discussions and listen to each other to heal our community and our country. ‘
Both Nelson and Anderson have been charged with violations of civil rights, vandalism under $ 400 and possession of tools to commit vandalism or graffiti.
If convicted, both defendants are sentenced to one year in prison. The alleged crimes are exempt from a certain amount of bail because of the current bail schedule for the county in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In witness images, Nelson was seen wearing Trump-supporting clothes while arguing with witnesses.
The images show the woman pouring a can of black paint over part of the mural and using a paint roller to cover the bright yellow letters.
Anderson paints over the yellow letters with black paint
Nelson (photo) argued with witnesses that Black Lives Matter is ‘racism’ and ‘nobody’ wants to go into town
When one witness asks the woman, “What’s wrong with you,” her male companion replies, “We’re sick of the story, that’s what’s wrong.”
“The story of police brutality, the story of oppression, the story of racism, it’s a lie,” the man adds.
The man who recorded the incident then points to the Black Lives Matter sign and calls it “racism.”
A discussion arises between the man and the spectators as the woman continues to damage the mural.
“There is no oppression. There is no racism, “the man says. “It’s a left-wing lie … from the media.”
The woman then becomes furious with the witnesses and exclaims ‘keep that s ****’ in f ****** New York! It doesn’t happen in my city! ‘
The woman appeared to refer to a number of Black Lives Matter murals that were approved in all five boroughs of New York City.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that one would be painted directly in front of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue – a move that angered the president – but it was postponed last week for unspecified reasons.
Several such murals have painted on roads across the country to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement after the murder of George Floyd and other black Americans by law enforcement.
The man said the couple daubed the mural for being ‘fed up with the story’, referring to brutality and racism by police
Authorities said the couple had fled the scene before the police arrived
Community members returned to the Martinez courthouse on Sunday to repair the damaged Black Lives Matter mural
At one point, the man agrees to “no one wants Black Lives Matter here” and “all lives matter.”
Martinez police said it was sent to the Black Lives Matter mural after people reported the incident, but the pair had already fled the area.
Community members returned to the mural on Sunday and repainted it.
“The community has spent a lot of time putting the mural together to make it painted in a hateful and meaningless way,” the department said.
The city of Martinez appreciates tolerance, and the damage to the mural was divisive and hurtful. Please help us identify those responsible for this crime so that they can be held accountable for their actions. ‘
More than 100 people – all with face covering and social distance – gathered to paint the phrase for five hours on Saturday.
The ‘public art project’ was organized by a local group called Martizians for Black Lives, who received permission for the Martinez Recreation Department mural.
Justin Gomez, a top organizer for Martizians for Black Lives, said the project was inspired after some anti-Black Lives Matter kites were discovered in the city.
The pilots reportedly sparked a community-wide discussion and reflection on how residents should be treated.
“People have now seen racism in their community; now we have to tackle it, “said Gomez.
He added that it was no mistake that the mural was placed in front of the Martinez courthouse.
The “gateway to mass incarceration” of the justice system that has disproportionately affected many black Americans and minorities, and has perpetuated institutional racism.
“The system consists of millions of small systems. We have to look locally first, ”said Gomez.
The first Black Lives Matter mural was painted last month in Washington, DC, near the White House. Murals for the movement soon began to emerge in major cities such as New York City, where multiple murals have been painted in Manhattan and Brooklyn (pictured)
A large-scale Breonna Taylor mural was painted at Chambers Park in Annapolis, Maryland on Sunday. The mural was organized by Future History Now in collaboration with Banneker-Douglass Museum and The Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture
The painting honors Breonna Taylor, who was shot and murdered in March 2020 by members of the Louisville Metro Police Department
One of the murals, Tatiana Ray, told it ABC 7 that the couple’s reaction to the artwork was indicative of a white supremacy pervading American culture.
“I think this is an indication of how much power white supremacy actually has,” she said.
“The fact that they even had something on the street for an hour they couldn’t even tolerate. You know, it was such a threat that someone else’s concerns were represented by the city and the community. ‘
National protests against white supremacy, racial injustice and police brutality have gripped the United States since George Floyd’s death on Memorial Day.
The first Black Lives Matter mural was painted last month in Washington, DC, near the White House.
Murals for the movement soon began to emerge in major cities such as New York City, where multiple murals have been painted in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
In Maryland, artists created a Breonna Taylor mural calling for justice for the 26-year-old EMT who was fatally shot by the Louisville Police Department on March 13.
As hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to push for action, President Donald Trump has spoken out against Black Lives Matter protesters and unambiguous law enforcement party.
He was convicted for his heavy-handed military response to often peaceful protests, which apparently sparked a further divide between civilians using prejudice rhetoric and for using the widely disputed phrase ‘when the looting begins, the shooting begins.’
His apparent dislike for Black Lives Matter protesters crept up to his July 4 speech at the White House, where he compared them to Nazis and terrorists.
“American heroes defeated the Nazis, dethroned the fascists, toppled the communists, saved American values, upheld American principles, and pushed terrorists to the limit,” he said.