The East Bay pair that were videotaped Saturday painting over a Black Lives Matter street mural outside the county courthouse in Martinez have now been publicly identified, and the district attorney is charging them with a hate crime.
"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."
As KRON4 reports, 42-year-old Nichole Anderson and 53-year-old David Nelson have been charged with violating civil rights, vandalism, and possession of tools to commit vandalism or graffiti. Anderson was seen in the video, vape pen in mouth, painting over the mural with a roller and black paint, and screaming something to the effect of "Keep this shit in fuckin New York. This is not happening in my town."
Nelson was apparently the man in the Trump 2020 t-shirt who was video-recording onlookers and responding to their taunts by saying things like "Racism is a leftist lie."
Let's see how far that Fox News/Infowars shit gets him in a California court.
The mural that was painted by around 100 volunteers on Saturday morning was like similar murals, in bright yellow, painted on streets in Washington, D.C., Oakland, and San Francisco. It had been permitted by the city as of last week.
After the vandalism on Saturday, the mural was restored again by volunteers.
As the Martinez News-Gazette reports, both Anderson and Nelson face up to a year in jail if they are convicted. It sounds as though they were arrested and released without bail due to bail exemptions currently in place during the pandemic.
Also, the New York Times picked up the story, and what this pair apparently thought was a good idea on the Fourth of July, to declare that police brutality doesn't exist and in their town "all lives matter," has probably cost them their jobs.