Martinez

2 Accused of Vandalizing Black Lives Matter Mural Charged With Hate Crime in Calif.

If convicted, the two residents could face up to one year in county jail

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Two Martinez, California, residents seen on video defacing a Black Lives Matter Mural over the weekend have been charged with a hate crime, Contra Costa County authorities said.

Nichole Anderson, 42, and David Nelson, 53, are also facing counts of vandalism and possession of tools to commit vandalism, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office said.

The Black Lives Matter sign in front of the Wakefield Taylor House in Martinez was painted by a resident on July 4, with permission of the city.

Later that day, Anderson was captured on cell phone video at the scene using a large roller to spread black paint on the yellow-lettered mural and saying, “this isn't happening in my town.”

In the video, which was widely shared on social media, Nelson can be heard saying "the narrative of police brutality, the narrative of oppression, the narrative of racism, it's a lie."

"The mural completed last weekend was a peaceful and powerful way to communicate the importance of Black live in Contra Costa County and the country," said Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton.

"We must address the root and byproduct of systemic racism in our country."

If convicted, Nelson and Anderson can face up to a year in county jail.

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