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San Francisco Bay-area police are investigating who is behind the painting of a “White Lives Matter” mural on a street even as prosecutors were announcing they would be filing “hate crime” and other charges against a California couple who defaced “Black Lives Matter” street art.
Police in Martinez, Calif., said they received a call about white letters painted on a road, according to Lt. Mike Estanol, a department spokesman.
When officers arrived they discovered a female who was already painting over the letters with black paint in order to cover it up. The department has not released any information on the female because the investigation into the White Lives Matter painting is active and ongoing, The Associated Press reported, citing other local media.
“She painted over it because she was frustrated,” said Estanol, describing the woman’s mindset.
However, he added, “Neither the person who painted ‘White Lives Matter’ or her should be painting on the roadway.”
Currently, detectives are attempting to find any witnesses and are examining video surveillance footage of the area.
The incident comes as a pair of Contra Costa County residents were arrested and charged with various infractions including “hate crimes” after taking black paint to a “Black Lives Matter” mural in Martinez.
“Nicole Anderson (42-years old Martinez resident) and David Nelson (53-years-old Martinez resident) with three misdemeanor counts, including a hate crime, for their alleged actions on Saturday, July 4, when defendant Anderson covered up a Black Lives Matter mural with black paint. Nelson directly aided in the alleged criminal conduct,” District Attorney Diana Becton, who is black, said in a statement.
BREAKING: The #Martinez couple caught on video painting over the approved #BlackLivesMatter mural on #FourthofJuly are being charged with a hate crime, according to a release from the #ContraCostaCounty District Attorney's office. pic.twitter.com/9L21byNsE1
— KCBS 106.9 FM/740 AM (@KCBSRadio) July 7, 2020
In video footage of the incident, Nelson can be heard telling bystanders, “We’re sick of this narrative. … the narrative of police brutality, the narrative of oppression, the narrative of racism is a lie.”
Martinez, California couple Nichole Anderson and David Nelson have been charged with a hate crime for defacing this Black Lives Matter mural. pic.twitter.com/8ylxx5qfNc
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 8, 2020
He adds: “America is great.”
One woman bystander can be heard telling the pair, “This is racist what you’re doing.”
“You’re a f—ing colonizer! You’re not from f—ing America! Your ancestors aren’t from here!” another bystander yells.
“The community spent a considerable amount of time putting the mural together only to have it painted over in a hateful and senseless manner,” said Martinez police chief Manjit Sappal in a statement. “The city of Martinez values tolerance, and the damage to the mural was divisive and hurtful.”
“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,” added Becton. “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.”
Meanwhile, Democrats — including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who represents a nearby district — have openly supported the defacement and destruction of monuments around the country, especially in California.
Speaker Pelosi's job is to write laws. Instead, she encourages mobs to break them.
She is complicit with criminal activity. https://t.co/eNJdLpAZRZ
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) July 9, 2020
In fact, on Thursday Pelosi dismissed the protection of statues and monuments outright while suggesting that no one be held accountable for the destruction.
“I don’t care that much about statues,” she said during a news conference.
When pressed about monuments being removed instead by city councils or by voters, Pelosi added dismissively and with a shrug, “People will do what they do.”
Fox News host Tucker Carlson panned Pelosi’s response, noting that if Americans were tearing down statues of people she admired and supported, her attitude would likely change.
“There’s one kind of expression that people like Nancy Pelosi can’t stand and won’t stand for: People who say the United States isn’t racist and don’t want public spaces filled with Left-wing graffiti,” he said.
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