Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton on Tuesday charged the peaceful protesters seen painting over a city-approved Black Lives Matter street mural with a hate crime and is seeking to put them in prison for a year.
Becton’s office released the following statement:
Martinez, Calif. – Today, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office charged Nichole 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. The incident was captured on video by witnesses.
On July 1, a local Martinez resident applied for a permit to paint a Black Lives Matter temporary mural in downtown Martinez in front of the Wakefield Taylor Courthouse. The permit was approved by the City of Martinez and the painting was done on July 4.
Nelson and Anderson arrived at the scene of the mural after it was completed with paint supplies. Anderson started to paint over the yellow letters “B” and “L” in the word “Black.” She used black paint and a large paint roller to do so. The video has been shared widely by witnesses and shared on social media.