Police are looking to identify a white man and white woman who vandalized a city-approved Black Lives Matter mural in Martinez, California, on the Fourth of July.
The woman was caught on video by onlookers as she painted over the words “Black Lives Matter” on the street in front of the Contra Costa County courthouse while the man appeared to film her on his phone. Authorities are asking the public to identify the couple so they may be “held accountable for their actions,” Martinez Police Chief Manjit Sappal said in a Sunday press release.
“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 release said. “The City of Martinez values tolerance and the damage to the mural was divisive and hurtful.”
Sappal’s release verified the video, which was shared on YouTube and an Instagram account called “Karens Going Wild.” The Instagram post has more than 375,000 views, while the YouTube video has been seen less than 50,000 times.
The Martinez police said the man and woman were gone by the time they arrived at the scene. Witnesses provided police a photo of their vehicle, a white Nissan pickup truck with the word “Nicole” on the right side of the tailgate.
Sappal confirmed that the mural was painted after community members had obtained the proper permits. Similar murals have been painted all over the country, including in cities such as Washington, D.C., and New York.
In the video, onlookers asked what was wrong with the couple and called the vandalism racist. The man, who was wearing a red shirt that read “Trump Four More Years,” said they were tired of “the narrative of oppression.”
“There is no oppression, there is no racism,” the man said, while holding his phone up. “It’s a leftist lie. It’s a lie from the media, the liberal left.”
Someone could be heard in the background asking him, “You can’t be that stupid, can you?”
Meanwhile, the woman continued to paint over the yellow “Black Lives Matter” mural with black paint. At one point, she asked the man to get her another can.
“Keep this s— in f—— New York. This isn’t happening in my town,” she said.
The man and woman continued to get into verbal arguments with numerous onlookers throughout the five-minute video. The man denied the existence of police brutality and repeatedly stated, “All lives matter.”
About four minutes into the video, a woman who was shouting at the couple took the paint can from them.
It’s unclear what happened after the video ended.
The Martinez Police Department did not immediately respond to an email and phone call from NBC News inquiring about possible charges.