By Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2020

MARTINEZ, Calif. — Police in a San Francisco Bay Area city are investigating who is responsible for illegally painting “White Lives Matter” on a street the same day prosecutors announced charges against two people accused of defacing a city-sanctioned “Black Lives Matter” sign.

Martinez police received a call Tuesday about the white letters on a road, said Lt. Mike Estanol, a Martinez police spokesman. Officers arrived to find a female painting over the letters with black paint. Police did not release any information about the female, as the investigation remains active, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday.

“She painted over it because she was frustrated,” Estanol told

But he added, “Neither the person who painted ‘White Lives Matter’ or her should be painting on the roadway.”

Detectives were searching for witnesses and video surveillance, Estanol said.

The incident was reported the same day that the district attorney’s office announced it had filed three misdemeanors, including a hate crime charge, against Nicole Anderson, 42, and David Nelson, 53. Both are white and live in Martinez and are accused of defacing a Black Lives Matter mural on the Fourth of July.

A viral video showed the woman, identified as Anderson, dumping a bucket of black paint and rolling over the mural’s freshly painted yellow block letters. A man, identified as Nelson, says on camera that racism is “a lie” and that “all lives matter.”

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