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California Pair Charged With Hate Crime After Video Allegedly Shows Them Painting Over Black Lives Matter Mural
The mural has since been restored after video showed a man and a woman painting over the letters.
A California man and woman now face hate crime charges after a viral video apparently showed them painting over a Black Lives Matter mural while claiming "the narrative of police brutality" is a "lie."
Nicole Anderson and David Nelson, both white residents of Martinez, California, were charged Tuesday with three misdemeanor counts — including a hate crime charge, the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office announced in a statement Tuesday.
Both Anderson and Nelson are allegedly the subjects shown in a viral video of a woman attempting to paint over and deface a large mural spelling out Black Lives Matter.
"We're sick of this narrative, that's what's wrong," the man, wearing a Donald Trump shirt, said in the video while the woman worked to paint over part of the mural. "The narrative of police brutality, the narrative of oppression, the narrative of racism, it's a lie."
Residents of Martinez received a permit from the city to paint the temporary Black Lives Matter mural on July 4 after a resident applied on July 1, according to local outlet KGO.
“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," Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton said in a statement.
The mural was vandalized within an hour of its completion on July 4 but has since been repainted. Residents are keeping an eye out for potential vandals, according to The New York Times.
Nelson and Anderson will be sent notices to appear in court but their court date has not yet been finalized, according to CNN.
If convicted, both defendants face up to a year in a county jail. It's not clear if either Anderson or Nelson have an attorney available for comment.