Trump Supporters Who Painted Over Black Lives Matter Mural Charged With Hate Crime
Two Trump supporters who painted over a Black Lives Matter mural have been charged with a hate crime.
The mural had been commissioned by the city of Martinez, California, and was located in front of the courthouse to commemorate the fight against racial injustice and police brutality, following numerous protests for the Black Lives Matter movement.
The painting was completed on July 4, but later the same day Trump supporters David Nelson and Nicole Anderson allegedly destroyed the mural by pouring black paint over the letters and attempting to cover up the words.
Footage of the scene was shared widely online, and those responsible were charged after police were made aware of the crime.
A statement released by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday, July 7, revealed Anderson, 42, and Nelson, 53, were each charged with three misdemeanor counts after ‘defendant Anderson covered up a Black Lives Matter mural with black paint’. They added: ‘Nelson directly aided in the alleged criminal conduct.’
As well as being charged with a hate crime, the pair face charges of vandalism and possession of tools to commit vandalism or graffiti.
District Attorney Diana Becton commented on the crime in a statement, saying:
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.
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 video of the vandalism shows a man, allegedly Nelson, wearing a red Trump shirt that read ‘Four more years’ and filming as the woman identified as Anderson started painting over the letters.
He can be heard responding to onlookers who ask what’s wrong, saying:
We’re sick of this narrative, that’s what’s wrong. The narrative of police brutality, the narrative of oppression, the narrative of racism, it’s a lie.
Anderson added: ‘This is not happening in my town.’ Police were called to the scene, but the pair both fled before being caught.
The mural was repainted following the incident.
If convicted, both Anderson and Nelson face up to a year in county jail. The district attorney’s office explains the alleged offenses are exempt from a specific bail amount due to the current county bail schedule in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
CreditsContra Costa District Attorney
Contra Costa District Attorney