Authorities in California are looking for a couple who defa-ced a Bla-ck Lives Matter street mural on Sunday just hours after community members fin-ished it.The Martinez Police Department announced they were looking for an unidentified white male and female after they rui-ned a city-san-ctioned Bla-ck Lives Matter mural with bla-ck paint.
The incident began when the couple, appearing to wear Make American Great Again apparel, arrived to mural in front of the city courthouse in downtown Martinez on July 4.
Footage shows the woman pouring a can of bla-ck paint over part of the mural and using a paint roller to cover the bright yellow letters.When one witness asks the woman ‘what’s wrong with you,’ her male companion replies ‘we’re si-ck of the narrative, that’s what is wrong.”The narrative of police br-utality, the narrative of oppr-ession, the narrative of rac-ism, it’s a l-ie,’ the man adds.
The man, who’s recording the incident, then points to the Bla-ck Lives Matter sign and calls it ‘rac-ism.’An arg-ument sp-arks between the man and onlookers while the woman continues to da-mage the innoc-uous mural.
‘There is no oppre-ssion. There is no rac-ism,’ the man says. ‘It’s a left-ist lie…from the media.The woman then becomes enr-aged at the witnesses and excla-ims ‘keep that s****’ in f****** New York! It’s not happening in my town!’The woman appeared to reference to a number of Bla-ck Lives Matter murals approved across all five boro-ughs of New York City.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that one would be painted directly in front of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue – a move that ang-ered the president – but it was delayed last week for unspecified reasons.
Several such murals have painted on roadways across the country to show solidarity with the Bla-ck Lives Matter movement after the loss of George Floyd and other Bla-ck Americans at the hands of law enfo-rcement. At one point, the man chi-mes in that ‘no one wants Bla-ck Lives Matter here’ and ‘all lives matter.’
The Martinez Police Department said that it dispatched to Bla-ck Lives Matter mural after people reported the incident, but the couple had already fled the area.Community members on Sunday returned to the mural and re-painted it.
‘The community spent a considerable amount of time putting the mural together only to have it painted over in a ha-teful and senseless manner,’ the department said.’The City of Martinez values tolerance and the da-mage to the mural was div-isive and hu-rtful. Please help us identify those that are responsible for this cri-me, so they can be held accountable for their ac-tions.’
Authorities also released a photo of the couple’s su-spected vehicle.’A witness provided a photograph of the su-spect’s vehicle which was described as a Nissan pickup truck with the word “NICOLE” on the right side of the ta-ilgate in silver lettering’, the press release read.
‘The truck has a camper shell and the license plate is 52701B1.’According to KPIX-TV, the City of Martinez approved the Bla-ck Lives Matter mural and allowed community members to paint the artwork on the Fourth of July.More than 100 people – all wearing face coverings and adhering to social distancing – gathered to paint the phrase on Saturday for five hours.
The ‘public art project,’ was organized by a local group named Martizians for Bl-ack Lives, which got permission for the mural from the Martinez Recreation Department.Justin Gomez, a top organizer for Martizians for Bla-ck Lives, said the project was inspired after a number of anti-Bla-ck Lives Matter fli-ers were discovered in the city.
The fliers reportedly prompted a community-wide discussion and reflection of how residents should be treated.’People have now seen rac-ism in their community; now we have to confront it,’ said Gomez.He added that it was not mistake that the mural was placed in front of the Martinez courthouse.
The legal system ‘gateway to mass inca-rceration’ that has disproportionately affe-cted Bla-ck Americans and minorities, as well as perpetuated institutional raci-sm.’The “system” is made up of millions of little systems. We have to look locally first,’ said Gomez.
One of the mural artists, Tatiana Ray, told ABC 7 that the couple’s response to the artwork was indicative of white supr-emacy permeating through American culture.’I think that this is an indication of how much power white supr-emacy actually has,’ she said.’The fact that even having something on the street for one hour, they couldn’t even tol-erate that. You know, it was such a thr-eat to have anybody else’s concerns represented by the city and represented by the community.’
Nationwide prot-ests agai-nst white supr-emacy, rac-ial injustice and police br-utality have gri-pped the United States since George Floyd’s loss on Memorial Day.
As hundreds of thousands of Americans called for ac-tion, President Trump has railed agai-nst Bl-ack Lives Matter and unequ-ivocally sided with law enfo-rcement. He was conde-mned over his heavy-handed military response to often peaceful prot-ests, appearing to inc-ite further divide between civi-lians using prej-udice rhe-toric and for using the widely contested phrase ‘When the lo-oting starts, the sho-oting starts.
His apparent di-staste for Bla-ck Lives Matter prote-sters seeped into his Fourth of July address at the White House, where he compared them to Na-zis and te-rrorists.’American heroes defe-ated the Na-zis, deth-roned the fa-scists to-ppled the communists, saved American values, upheld American principles, and chased down terr-orists to the very ends of the earth,’ he said.
This Article First Published On DAILYMAIL