UPDATED 7/8, 4:50 p.m. ET: The couple has been charged with a hate crime, ABC News reports. According to a statement from the Contra Costa District Attorney's office, they are Nicole Anderson, 42, and David Nelson, 53, both of whom are accused of defacing a Black Lives Matter mural in Martinez, California.
UPDATED 7/6, 6:20 p.m. ET: Martinez Police Chief Manjit Sappal released a statement on the incident, saying that police are searching for the man and woman who vandalized a Black Lives Matter street mural.
"On July 4th, community members obtained a permit from the City to paint Black Lives Matter on Court Street in downtown Martinez," Chief Sappal wrote. "Once the mural was completed, an unidentified white male and white female arrived. While the male made comments to a group of onlookers his companion began painting over the mural with black paint. At one point she made a statement that this was not, '…happening in my town.' She also asked the male to get her another can of paint to continue with the act of vandalism. It appeared that the couple came to the mural with cans of paint and a roller with the specific purpose of vandalizing over the mural. The community spent a considerable amount of time painting this mural only to have the suspects destroy it by dumping and rolling paint over part of the message."
Chief Sappal continued, "The case is currently under investigation and if any members of the public can identify the male and female involved in this incident please call our Dispatch Center at 925-372-3440 with the information.
See original story below.
A man and woman were confronted as they were painting over a Black Lives Matter mural in front of the county courthouse in Martinez, California.
In the video, the pair can be seen arguing with others who are trying to prevent them from painting over the yellow mural, which the city had given activists permission to paint. NBC Bay Area reports that the man and woman showed up just hours later to black it out.
During the argument, the pair can be heard yelling "all lives matter" while contending that police violence is the result of resisting arrest. The man and woman were both wearing red shirts, with the man’s reading “four more years,” likely a reference to reelecting Donald Trump.
"I can't believe that this is happening right in front of my face," a witness said, according to the news outlet. "I expected something to happen, but when I saw this, I got a little excited and tried to make sure and get it in and film everything that happened."
The man and woman’s license plate number was documented and the Martinez Police Department has launched an investigation into the incident.
A number of these murals have popped up all over the U.S., as demonstrators continue to gather to protest police brutality and systemic racism. Last week, Trump denounced the proposed Black Lives Matter sign along Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, right outside Trump Tower, tweeting that it's a “symbol of hate” that would denigrate the “luxury avenue” and “and further antagonize” local police.