A California couple seen in a viral video painting over a Black Lives Matter mural while cursing at bystanders and uttering pro-Trump slogans has been charged with a hate crime, police announced Tuesday. The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office identified the two as Nicole Anderson, 42, and David Nelson, 53, and said the pair faces “three misdemeanor counts, including a hate crime, for their alleged actions on Saturday, July 4, when defendant Anderson covered up a Black Lives Matter mural with black paint.” Anderson was filmed angrily painting over part of the mural, which had been approved by city authorities, after declaring, “This is not happening in my town!”
Nelson, who is said to have “directly aided in the alleged criminal conduct,” stood by while Anderson painted and argued with bystanders who took issue with the vandalism. He could be heard in the video telling bystanders that “all lives matter,” “there is no racism,” and “you’re only free because of our forefathers.” Both Nelson and Anderson face up to a year in county jail if convicted on charges of violation of civil rights, vandalism under $400, and possession of tools to commit vandalism or graffiti. Anderson only managed to paint over part of the letters “B” and “L” after apparently storming off from the area when bystanders confronted her. The mural has since been repainted.