Authorities have identified the two White people who allegedly painted over a newly dedicated Black Lives Matter street mural in Martinez, California, and now both of them are facing a hate crime charge on top of other counts.
According to CNN, the two Martinez residents, identified as David Nelson, 53, and Nicole Anderson, 42, are each facing charges of violation of civil rights, vandalism and possession of tools to commit vandalism or graffiti.
If convicted, they each face up to a year in county jail.
“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,” Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton said 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.”
The pair drew attention on July 4 when they approached the newly painted mural that was a part of the community’s celebrations. Videos taken by onlookers showed the woman slapping black paint over the yellow lettering of the mural and then using a paint roller to cover the B and L as the man records the outraged bystanders.
“Keep America great again. That’s right. Why don’t you guys learn about history, the Emancipation Proclamation Act?” taunted the man, who was wearing a shirt with “Trump” and “Four More Years” on it. “You’re only free because of our forefathers.”