Activists were given permission to paint the bright-yellow mural on Saturday. Just hours later, NBC Bay Area reports, a white woman was seen painting over it in black.
In video footage shared to YouTube, the pair can be seen arguing with activists, declaring that “all lives matter” and saying that police killings are a consequence of resisting arrests, the video shows.
Local police announced on Sunday in a statement that they were looking for the two people who vandalized the mural.
“The community spent a considerable amount of time putting the mural together only to have it painted over in a hateful and senseless manner,” Chief Manjit Sappal of the Martinez Police Department said in a statement. “The city of Martinez values tolerance, and the damage to the mural was divisive and hurtful.”
In the statement, they shared video footage of the incident along with a photo of the suspects’ white truck and the licence plate.
The woman, wearing a red shirt with the American flag on it, says at one point: “The narrative of police brutality, the narrative of oppression, the narrative of racism — it’s a lie. It’s a lie.”
“This is not happening in my town,” she says.
The man, who’s wearing a red cap and red shirt that reads “Trump” and “Four More Years,” can be seen recording the incident to the side. He was also seen going to a parked car nearby to grab a can of black paint.
At one point in the video, he said: “Keep America great again, that’s right. Why don’t you guys learn about history, the Emancipation Proclamation Act? You’re only free because of our forefathers.”
It’s unknown how the two people are related, or if they face any charges.
“I can’t believe that this is happening right in front of my face,” a witness said at the scene, per NBC. “I expected something to happen, but when I saw this, I got a little excited and tried to make sure and get it in and film everything that happened.”
Justin Gomez, the lead organizer for Martizians for Black Lives, asked the city for permission to paint the mural.
The city offered them the street in front of the Wakefield Taylor Courthouse, which Gomez said he immediately agreed to. It was vandalized less than an hour after they finished painting at 2 p.m.
“I’m not so surprised that it happened,” Gomez told the New York Times. “I’m surprised at how bold they chose to be.”
Gomez told the publication that the mural has since been restored and supporters are watching to make sure it doesn’t get damaged again.
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