Not long after a California community completed a Black Lives Matter mural on Saturday, a White man and a White woman arrived to paint over it, police said.
A woman wearing a red, patriotic T-shirt and flip flops began painting over the yellow-lettered mural with black paint on Saturday in Martinez, California, as seen in a video posted on YouTube and shared in a police statement. A man wearing a red Trump shirt that read “Four more years” began filming as the woman started painting.
“We’re sick of this narrative, that’s what’s wrong,” the man said in the video. “The narrative of police brutality, the narrative of oppression, the narrative of racism, it’s a lie.”
A bystander can be heard arguing with the man off camera. She asked what was wrong with him before adding, “This is racist what you’re doing.”
Residents from Martinez got a permit from the city to paint a Black Lives Matter mural on July 4, Martinez Police Chief Manjit Sappal said in a statement.
Police are looking for the unidentified man and woman seen in the video.
“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,” Chief Sappal said in the 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.”
During the incident, the unidentified woman stops painting to voice her concern suggesting these murals be kept in New York. “This is not happening in my town,” she said.
As the video goes on, the woman off camera is heard referring to the White woman with the paint roller as Becky and the White man as Terry. “Becky” and “Karen” have come to symbolize a certain type of White woman, as has the name “Chad” for men.
The man in the red shirt repeatedly says, “All lives matter” throughout the video and a female bystander can be heard replying, “Until Black lives matter, no lives matter.”
The altercation goes on for about five minutes, with several bystanders interjecting and asking why this is happening.
By the time police arrived at the scene, the man and the woman were gone, police said. Police are looking for a Nissan pickup truck with the word “NICOLE” painted in silver, which was provided by a witness. The man approached the vehicle while the video was being filmed.
The case is being investigated and police are asking the public’s help in identifying the man and the woman seen in the video.
“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 Sappal said. “The City of Martinez values tolerance and the damage to the mural was divisive and hurtful.”
The mural was repainted after the incident, according to CNN affiliate KPIX. The area was blocked off and the mural was surrounded by chalk images, as of Sunday afternoon, KPIX reported.
In an unrelated incident Sunday, a man was arrested for shouting “all lives matter” and pulling a gun on a young man looking at the same Black Lives Matter mural, according to CNN affiliate KGO.