A COUPLE who was filmed painting over a Black Lives Matter mural in California on Saturday has been charged with hate crimes.
Nichole Anderson, 42, and David Nelson, 53, were each hit with several charges for the incident that happened in Martinez, located in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The pair, dubbed “Karen and Chad,” tried to remove the mural painted on a street in front of a local courthouse after city officials gave activists the green-light for the project to go ahead.
Within hours of the mural being created on Saturday, it was vandalized by Anderson and Nelson, the Contra Costa County district attorney’s office said on Tuesday.
Karen and Chad are pejorative terms coined in the US for a white woman and man perceived to be entitled and privileged.
In the footage, a woman wearing a t-shirt with an American flag designed in the shape of a heart can be seen covering the mural in black paint, while a man in a “Four More Years” shirt stands by her, recording and yelling at upset people nearby.
“Don’t have a run-in with a law and don’t resist arrest, it won’t be a problem,” the man is heard saying in the video, as Anderson was seen using a paint roller to cover the letters “B” and “L.”
District Attorney Diana Becton said in a statement: “We must address the root and byproduct of systemic racism in our country.”
“The Black Lives Matter movement is an important civil rights cause that deserves all our attention.”
Becton said the mural “was a peaceful and powerful way to communicate the importance of Black lives in Contra Costa County and the country.”
“We must continue to elevate discussions and actually listen to one another in an effort to heal our community and country.”
One witness who filmed the incident said they couldn’t believe it was “happening right in front of my face.”
“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,” they told KNTV.
Authorities said both Anderson and Nelson were charged with violating civil rights, vandalism, and possession of tools to commit vandalism.
If convicted, the pair could face up to a year in jail.
View more information: https://www.the-sun.com/news/1101860/karen-black-lives-matter-mural-california-hate-crime/