Trump Supporters Who Painted Over Black Lives Matter Mural Charged With Hate Crimes in California

Two Trump supporters were charged with hate crimes on Tuesday for painting over a Black Lives Matter mural in California’s Bay Area on July 4, officials said.

Nicole Claudia Anderson, 42, covered up the mural in downtown Martinez, and David Richard Nelson, 53, directly aided in her alleged criminal conduct, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office said.
  • In addition to the hate crime charges, Anderson and Nelson each face a charge of vandalism under $400 and possession of tools to commit vandalism or graffiti.
  • If convicted, the couple face up to a year in jail, the district attorney’s office said.
“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,” said Diana Becton, the district attorney.

The city quickly restored the authorized mural, which featured “Black Lives Matter” scrawled on the street in front of a courthouse in yellow block letters.
  • Similar murals have been painted in cities across the country, including Washington, New York, Dallas and Los Angeles.
Onlookers filmed Anderson and Nelson, both residents of Martinez, during the incident, and footage went viral online.
A number of people heckled and confronted the couple, with one woman accusing them of being colonizers who “aren’t from here.”

Nelson, who was wearing Trump campaign gear, at one point shouted, “Keep America Great Again.”
  • “We’re sick of this narrative: The narrative of police brutality, the narrative of oppression, the narrative of racism,” he also said. “It’s a lie from the media, the liberal left.”
  • Keep this” in New York, said Anderson, who wore a red patriotic T-shirt as she dabbed black paint on the mural. “This is not happening in my town.”
Overnight on Tuesday, somebody painted "White Lives Matter" on a street in Martinez. 
  • The city quickly painted over the graffiti. 
  • No arrests have been made. 
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