Police investigating after Black Lives Matter mural defaced in front of courthouse

ByKayla Galloway WABC logo
Sunday, July 5, 2020
BLM mural defaced in front of Martinez courthouse
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A Black Lives Matter mural was defaced in Martinez Saturday and now police are investigating.

MARTINEZ, California -- A woman was caught on video as she apparently defaced a mural on Saturday, and now, police are investigating.

According to police, a group of residents obtained a permit to paint the phrase Black Lives Matter outside a courthouse in California.

Just an hour after the mural was completed, another group came and poured black paint over the bright yellow letters.

Video obtained by ABC7 shows a suspect painting over the mural.

One of the artists told ABC7 News, the mural is a direct response to white power fliers that were found in the area earlier this week.

The artist said as the group covered up the mural with black paint, they were shouting "all lives matter."

"I think that this is an indication of how much power white supremacy actually has," said Tatiana Ray, a resident in the area. "The fact that even having something on the street for one hour, they couldn't even tolerate that. You know, it was such a threat to have anybody else's concerns represented by the city and represented by the community."

Video shows a confrontation between the artists and the pair painting over the mural.

Ray and several others were able to fix the mural.

Police said in a statement Sunday that a white female painted over the mural as a white man made comments to onlookers.

"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 a statement. "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."

Once police were notified of what happened, the suspects were gone, officers said.

"(We value) tolerance and the damage to the mural was divisive and hurtful," police said. "Please help us identify those that are responsible for this crime, so they can be held accountable for their actions."