In a demonstration of white privilege, a woman was shown in a viral video painting over a city-approved Black Lives Matter mural while the man she was with shouted about leftist delusions. Unluckily for the couple, however, California police have taken notice and sent out scene photos and links to the video in search of the pair.
The incident unfolded after community members obtained a permit to paint the mural on the Fourth of July in downtown Martinez, which is about 35 miles northeast of San Francisco. Soon after the mural was completed, the unidentified woman could be seen rolling black paint onto the yellow artwork. The man with her appeared to be filming when a bystander asked: “What is wrong with you?” He explained that he and the woman he was with are sick of the narrative of police brutality, oppression, and racism. “It’s a lie,” he said.
“There is no oppression,” he later added. “There is no racism. It’s a leftist lie.” The bystander then responded: “You can’t be that stupid, can you?” And at one point in the exchange, the woman painting said in an outburst: “Keep this s–t in f—–g New York. This is not happening in my town.”
The woman continues painting over the mural despite calls from bystanders to stop, and at one point she is shown asking the man she is with to get more paint. “I got plenty,” she said.
Martinez police released a photo of a Nissan pickup truck the couple was spotted in. It had the name “NICOLE” on the back of it and the license plate 52701B1. “It appeared that the couple came to the mural with cans of paint and a roller with the specific purpose of vandalizing over the mural,” police said in the news release. “The community spent a considerable amount of time painting this mural only to have the suspects destroy it by dumping and rolling paint over part of the message.”
Although disheartening, it’s not the first time suspects have been accused of vandalizing a Black Lives Matter sign in California. Workers from a sheriff’s office and district attorney’s office in southern California were among those shown on security camera footage vandalizing a “BLM” sign on a homeowner’s fence in Thousand Oaks in June, CNN reported. Three suspects were later arrested and identified as Darrin Stone, Craig Anderson, and Jeffrey Moore, according to a news release from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. “Anderson is a non-sworn investigative assistant at the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office,” authorities said in the news release.
Stone, a service technician at a pretrial detention facility, has worked with the sheriff’s office since 2005 but was reportedly off duty when he was seen vandalizing the sign. He was caught on camera slashing it with a knife on June 13, and he was accused of slashing it a second time on June 19, authorities said. “In addition to being cited for vandalism, Stone has been placed on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of both criminal and administrative investigations,” the sheriff’s office said.
Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub added: “I’m deeply disappointed that one of our employees involved himself in this type of illegal activity, especially when this is an infringement on someone’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech. We will not tolerate unlawful or unethical behavior by anyone employed by our agency. We hold our employees to the highest standards, and there will be consequences for this.”
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