“We need to address the root and byproduct of systemic racism in our country. The Black Lives Matter movement is an important civil rights issue that deserves our full attention,” District Attorney Diana Becton said in a statement.
“The mural that was completed last weekend was a peaceful and powerful way to communicate the meaning of black life in Contra Costa County and in the country,”
When Nelson, 53, was contacted by CNN on the phone, he said, “I have no comment – for you anyway.” CNN’s attempts to reach Anderson, 42, remained unanswered Tuesday evening.
“We are fed up with this story, that’s wrong,” said the man in the video. “The story of police brutality, the story of oppression, the story of racism, it’s a lie.”
You can hear a spectator arguing outside the camera with the man. She asked what was wrong with him before adding, “This is racist what you do.”
The police had searched for the man and woman seen in the video.
“It appeared that the couple came to the mural with paint cans and a roller to destroy the mural,” said Sappal in the statement. “The community has spent a lot of time painting this mural just so that the suspects can destroy it by dousing and rolling over part of the message.”
During the incident, the woman stopped painting to express her concern and suggested that such murals be kept in New York. “It doesn’t happen in my city,” she said.
Nelson and Anderson are notified to appear in court. This date has not yet been released, according to DA spokesman Scott Alonso. If each defendant is convicted of an offense, the press release could end up in a district prison for up to a year.
CNN’s Cheri Mossburg contributed to this report.