Police are investigating two people who used black paint to cover a Black Lives Matter mural in Martinez, California.
Police in Martinez said residents in the Northern California city obtained a permit to paint the street with the three-word slogan.
Martinez Police Chief Manjit Sappal said in a statement (pdf): “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.”
He added, “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.”
About an hour after it was painted on July 4 near the courthouse, another group came and attempted to covered it up, officials said.
In a viral video, a man and woman were seen using black paint and a roller to cover up the letters. The man told onlookers: “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,” he said.
View this post on Instagram
As onlookers told them to leave, the woman said, “This is not happening in my town.”
Martinez is a city in Contra Costa County, located north of Oakland and northeast of San Francisco.
Several cities across the United States have allowed demonstrators to paint large Black Lives Matter murals on city streets, including in Washington, D.C.