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White couple paint over Black Lives Matter mural as they tell witnesses: 'Racism is a lie'
6 July 2020, 15:43
Police in California are investigating after a white couple were filmed painting over a Black Lives Matter mural in a "hateful and senseless manner".
Footage of the incident on Saturday shows a man and woman turning up to the mural in downtown Martinez with a roller and black paint, before proceeding to colour over the yellow block lettering on the road that reads: "Black Lives Matter".
The man, who appears to be wearing a pro-Donald Trump t-shirt and hat, is seen filming the incident and telling passers-by: "No one wants Black Lives Matter here.
"We’re sick of this narrative. That’s the problem. The narrative of police brutality, the narrative of oppression, the narrative of racism. It’s a lie."
WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE
Meanwhile, the woman, who continues dumping paint on the mural, says: "This is not happening in my town."
In a statement, Martinez police chief Manjit Sappal shared links to videos of the incident and appealed to anyone who could recognise the car the couple left the scene in.
He said painting over the mural which had only just been completed was "hateful and senseless", and was particularly hurtful to the community who had spent "considerable time" creating it.
"It appeared that the couple came to the mural with cans of paint and a roller with the specific purpose of vandalising over the mural," Mr Sappal said.
He added: "The community spent a considerable amount of time putting the mural together only to have it painted over in a hateful and senseless manner.
"The City of Martinez values tolerance and the damage to the mural was divisive and hurtful.
"Please help us identify those that are responsible for this crime, so they can be held accountable for their actions."