Two white people in California have been charged with a hate crime after painting over a mural reading Black Lives Matter.
Nichole Anderson, 42, and David Nelson, 53, were charged by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office.
Video footage Saturday picked up Anderson painting over a Black Lives Matter mural in Martinez, California, that was authorized to be painted by the city. Nelson carried more paint to Anderson as said to onlookers, “No one wants Black Lives Matter here.”
Anderson and Nelson were charged with violation of civil rights, vandalism under $400 and possession of tools to commit vandalism or graffiti. They face up to a year in prison if convicted.
“The community spent a considerable amount of time putting the mural together only to have it painted over in a hateful and senseless manner,” Martinez Police Chief Manjit Sappal wrote in a statement. “The city of Martinez values tolerance, and the damage to the mural was divisive and hurtful.”
“We’re sick of this narrative,” Nelson said. “The narrative of police brutality, the narrative of oppression, the narrative of racism. It’s a lie. It’s a lie.”
The mural was in response to uprisings around the country following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis in police custody.
It resembles the same mural that was painted on a street leading to the White House in Washington, D.C., during protests in the city.
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