Official naming of park will happen later following more public input
By Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor, Public Affairs, East Bay Regional Park District
On Tuesday, July 7, 2020, the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors unanimously approved the final land use plan for public access improvements and open space preservation at the Park District’s new 2,540-plus-acre regional park, with the working name of Concord Hills. The final land use plan includes a joint visitor center with the National Park Service highlighting the history of the Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial and the Diablo Valley, staging areas, and miles of recreational trails for hiking, biking, and nature viewing.
“This is the true culmination of a decades-long community effort,” said Beverly Lane, who has represented Concord on the East Bay Regional Park District Board since 1994. “I’m proud to be part of the Park District and its effort to produce a truly fabulous plan for a new Regional Park in the Diablo Valley.”
“This important land use plan will provide public access, preserve natural habitat, and honor the unique natural and human history of the land,” added Lane.
In July 2019, after a 20+ year community effort, the Park District received possession of 2,216 acres of U.S. Navy property at the Concord Naval Weapons Station. An additional 327 acres will transfer to the District at a later time.
The final land use plan utilizes existing developed areas and buildings to the greatest extent possible. The final approved plan and the associated environmental analysis permanently preserve 95% of the land as open space and protected habitat.
“Turning the former military base into a world-class park will take very many years and millions of dollars to restore and open,” said East Bay Regional Park District General Manager Robert Doyle. “However, thanks to the Park District and community’s efforts, 2,500 plus acres of scenic Diablo Valley landscape is permanently protected.”
“The opportunity to partner with the National Park Service to tell the unique and important natural and historic story of the land in a future joint visitor is exciting and rare. We thank National Park Service and all of our partners for their help in making this world-class park a reality,” added Doyle.
On July 17, 1944, over 5,000 tons of munitions at Port Chicago exploded, killing 320 mostly enlisted African American sailors. The tragic explosion accounted for a quarter of all African American deaths in World War II and highlighted racial inequality within the Navy. On July 26, 1948, President Truman signed Executive Order 9981, ordering the desegregation of all military forces. The National Park Service operates the Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial at the site of the explosion, recognizing those that perished.
Creating a new Regional Park in the Diablo Valley has been a partnership between the Park District, U.S. Navy, National Park Service, City of Concord, and Save Mount Diablo. Public access is expected to come first to the southern portions of the park consisting of 900 acres south of Bailey Road.
The Board will consider the official naming of the new Regional Park at a later time after additional community outreach and engagement.
The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park system in the nation, comprising 73 parks, 55 miles of shoreline, and over 1,300 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and environmental education. The Park District receives more than 25 million visits annually throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.Read More
“Female victim reported that she was held hostage overnight by an ex-boyfriend who sexually assaulted her, threw her on a coffee table, tied her to a chair with duct tape, and poured gasoline on her.”
By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County, Office of the Sheriff
The investigation into an officer involved shooting Thursday night in Knightsen is ongoing. Per the county’s law enforcement involved fatal incident protocol this case is being investigated by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office. (See related article)
Yesterday, at about 9:38 AM, Delta Station Deputy Sheriffs responded to a home on the 1700 block of Green Acres Lane in Knightsen, regarding a report of spousal abuse.
The female victim reported that she was held hostage overnight by an ex-boyfriend who sexually assaulted her, threw her on a coffee table, tied her to a chair with duct tape, and poured gasoline on her. The suspect is identified as 44-year-old Eduardo Martinez of Bay Point. He also threatened to burn down the house with her in it. The victim, who said Martinez had a shotgun and pistol, also reported that he made threats to shoot law enforcement and said he did not want to go back to jail. The victim, who is not being identified, was able to escape from the house.
Deputies set up a perimeter around the house and made numerous announcements for Martinez to come out. There was no response. The Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team and Hostage Negotiation Team (HNT) responded to the location at about 12:40 PM.
HNT communicated with Martinez during the afternoon and into the evening asking him to surrender. Martinez fired the shotgun into the ground and shot at Deputies several times during the day and would not give up.
At about 8:58 PM, Martinez came out of the house advancing on deputies and fired his shotgun at SWAT Team members. Three of them were struck. Deputies returned fire hitting the suspect. Martinez was later pronounced deceased at the scene.
One Deputy was struck in his chest but was saved by his bulletproof vest. Another was hit in his head by shotgun pellets and the third was shot in his arm. All have been treated and released from the hospital.
Martinez has had extensive contacts with law enforcement. His previous arrests include: domestic battery, spousal abuse, making criminal threats, false imprisonment, obstruction, receiving stolen property and multiple counts of driving under the influence.
Anyone with any information on this incident is asked to contact the Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600. For any tips, email: email@example.com or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.
For transportation, housing, economy and environment for next three decades
Plan Bay Area 2050’s Draft Blueprint is available for public comment through August 10, 2020
SAN FRANCISCO, July 10, 2020 . . . The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) are inviting the Bay Area public to provide input on the newly released Plan Bay Area 2050 Draft Blueprint, a 30-year regional vision that seeks to create a more affordable, connected, diverse, healthy and vibrant Bay Area for all. The Draft Blueprint is being released today for a public comment period that will run through August 10, 2020.
Given the myriad challenges the COVID-19 pandemic poses to the Bay Area, MTC and ABAG will hold virtual workshops and telephone town halls through August 7, 2020. Both organizations want to hear from all Bay Area residents in order to incorporate diverse voices from across our region. Input received by the agencies will be used to further refine the Final Blueprint to create a more resilient and equitable Bay Area for future generations. The Final Blueprint is slated for approval in late 2020 and will be integrated into Plan Bay Area 2050 prior to its adoption in 2021.
The Plan Bay Area 2050 Draft Blueprint weaves together transportation, housing, economic and environmental strategies, alongside an expanded set of growth geographies, to advance critical climate and equity goals. Designed to accommodate the 1.5 million new homes necessary to house future growth and address overcrowding, as well as 1.4 million new jobs, the Draft Blueprint integrates critical strategies to address our severe and longstanding housing crisis. With infrastructure investments in walking, biking and public transportation – as well as sea level protections designed to keep most Bay Area communities from flooding through 2050 – the Draft Blueprint makes meaningful steps towards the adopted Plan Bay Area 2050 Vision.
Plan Bay Area 2050 is a joint initiative of MTC and ABAG. For more information on Plan Bay Area 2050 or to provide comments on the Draft Blueprint, visit: www.planbayarea.org. The entire list of public events can be found here: www.planbayarea.org/meetings-and-events/upcoming-public-events.
MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. ABAG’s mission is to strengthen cooperation and collaboration across local governments to build healthier, stronger communities.Read More
By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County, Office of the Sheriff
Two Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs were injured Thursday evening after being shot by a suspect in a barricaded subject incident in Knightsen. They were taken to a local hospital. The suspect, who is not being identified at this time, was shot by Deputies who returned fire.
Thursday morning, July 9, 20202 at about 9:42 AM, Deputies were called to the 1700 block of Green Acres Lane in Knightsen regarding a domestic violence incident.
The female victim reported that the suspect held her hostage overnight, pushed her onto a coffee table breaking her ribs and poured gasoline on her threatening to set her on fire.
Deputy Sheriffs responded to the location to investigate and talk to the suspect who was at the residence. The victim was able to flee the house.
The Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office SWAT team was called out at about 12:40 PM. Sheriff’s Office HNT (Hostage Negotiation Team) also responded and communicated throughout the afternoon and into the early evening with the suspect asking him to surrender.
The suspect shot at Deputy Sheriffs several times during the day and would not give up.
At about 8:58 PM, the suspect came out of the house and fired his shotgun at members of the SWAT team. Three of them were struck. Deputies returned fire hitting the suspect. He was later pronounced deceased at the scene. Two of the deputies were transported to the hospital.
Per the county Officer Involved Fatal Incident protocol, this incident is currently being investigated by the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office and the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office.
The investigation is ongoing. More details will be provided in a press release Friday.Read More
By CHP – Contra Costa
Monday night, July 7, 2020 at approximately 9:41pm, Contra Costa CHP was advised of a solo vehicle collision on HWY-4 eastbound, just east of Cummings Skyway between Martinez and Hercules. Upon emergency personnel and CHP arrival, the passenger (an 18-year-old female) was tragically declared deceased and the driver (a 28-year-old male) suffered minor injuries only.
The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office identified the deceased passenger as Alma Olivares from Pittsburg.
In our initial investigation, it appears the male driver of the silver 2014 Jeep Laredo was traveling on HWY-4 eastbound, just east of Cummings Skyway when he allowed the Jeep to veer to the right and completely off the roadway, subsequently colliding into a tree. The collision caused fatal injuries to the female passenger and the male driver suffered minor injuries.
Alcohol or drugs are not suspected in this collision, but this incident is still under investigation. If anyone witnessed this collision or the events leading up to it, please contact Contra Costa CHP in Martinez at (925) 646-4980.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More
SACRAMENTO – Sen. Steve Glazer’s legislative agenda – including a three-bill package to help residents survive power outages – cleared the Senate this spring and moved to the Assembly despite challenging conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to the power outage bills, Glazer carried measures to deter unsafe house parties in short-term rentals – prompted by an Orinda tragedy in which five people were killed – and another to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, which have been used to lure kids into the nicotine habit.
Behind the scenes, the senator also played a key role in passing a constitutional amendment (ACA 11) that could make it easier for seniors to sell their house and buy another without incurring huge increases in their property tax bills. That measure would increase taxes in the state by $1 billion per year, raising money for fire protection by closing a loophole that has allowed out of state investors and absentee landlords to take advantage of a law meant to help people pass on their family home to their children.
The power outage package was intended to address issues with cell phone service, medical devices and hospitals during shutdowns triggered by utilities trying to avoid sparking a fire during high-wind events.
The bills were:
SB 431– (co-authored with Sen. Mike McGuire) to require a 72-hour backup power for cell towers to ensure people have access to cellphone communications during a wildfire power shutdown;
SB 801 – to require utilities to provide backup power sources to protect residents who rely on electricity to power life-saving medical devices;
SB 1099 (co-authored with Sen. Bill Dodd) – to allow hospitals to use backup power without facing local penalties.
“Senator Glazer has truly been a champion of persons with disabilities, older adults and wildfire victims and we commend his work in carrying legislation to ensure that power companies are required to provide backup power to many of them during Public Safety Power Shutoff events,” said Curtis Child, legislative director for Disability Rights California, referring to SB 1099. “This legislation will save lives.”
The Senate also approved Senator Glazer’s bill, SB 1049, increasing penalties for short-term rentals that allow disruptive and dangerous events. Last Halloween in Orinda a mass shooting left five people dead at a party hosted at an AirBnB property.
“In a few short months amidst a deadly crisis, lawmakers were asked to scale back their legislative agendas,” Senator Glazer said. “So, I am thrilled with how much important work we were able to get done, and am especially glad I could address some critical issues for residents in my district.”
The Senate also approved SB 793, which Glazer co-authored with Sen. Jerry Hill, to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products. This bill is similar to previous legislation Glazer has co-authored with Hill banning tobacco and e-cigarette companies from marketing flavored products to children.
The Senate also approved Senator Glazer’s bill, SB 1232, to help student parents pay for books and college supplies with a Cal-WORKS grant. It would also exempt these students from having to meet work requirements.
Assembly Constitutional Amendment 11, which Glazer helped push through the Senate, allow seniors and disabled people to sell their home and buy another one without having to pay the substantially higher property taxes that would typically be assessed on the new purchase. This will allow more empty-nesters to move out of larger homes that have more space than they need while freeing up homes for young families who have been squeezed out by the housing shortage. It appears on the November ballot as Proposition 19.
The constitutional amendment, if approved by voters in November, would also close a loophole that gives people a property tax break when they inherit a home from their parents. People who live in the home they inherit would still get the benefit but it would no longer be available to landlords.
According to the California Board of Equalization, “Proposition 58, effective November 6, 1986, is a constitutional amendment approved by the voters of California which excludes from reassessment transfers of real property between parents and children.
Proposition 193, effective March 27, 1996, is a constitutional amendment approved by the voters of California which excludes from reassessment transfers of real property from grandparents to grandchildren, providing that all the parents of the grandchildren who qualify as children of the grandparents are deceased as of the date of transfer.”
According to Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association in his latest California Commentary, “the Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that the repeal of the ‘intergenerational transfer protections’ guaranteed by Props. 58 and 193 will result in 40,000 to 60,000 families getting hit with higher property taxes every year.”
The two changes could eventually raise $1 billion a year in new revenue that would be dedicated to fire protection.
“Senator Glazer’s efforts to create a dedicated fund to support underfunded fire districts in California show how effective a resourceful and persistent lawmaker can be in delivering much needed funds to his fire districts,” said Brian K. Rice President, California Professional Firefighters. “We are grateful for the support Senator Glazer has provided us and should ACA 11 (Proposition 19) be passed by the voters, we look forward to working with him to secure funds for his district.”
Glazer worked with the authors of the measure to ensure that a portion of the revenue would be available to the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District, which has been forced to reduce services and close a number of stations because state funding formulas gave it far less property tax revenue than a typical fire district.
“This fire district has never had the revenue it needs to serve the fast-growing East County,” Glazer said. “ACA 11 is a smart, fair tax reform that will help seniors while generating more resources for fighting fires. If it passes, I will work with my fellow legislators to make sure that the East County district gets its fair share.”
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More
City will consider program for future “murals or other expressions on public property in support of social justice and racial equality.” – Mayor Rob Schroder
The following statement by Martinez Mayor Rob Schroder was issued on Tuesday providing the background to the BLACKLIVESMATTER mural on Court Street: Statement from Rob Schroder – BLM Mural
July 7, 2020
Dear Martinez Community:
Recent events in our community have highlighted both racial tensions and matters of free speech. I write to you today to provide a full account of these events and to address questions that we have been receiving at City Hall the last few days. My hope is that this information will both inform our community and provide clarity on the facts and how we plan to move forward together.
On the evening of June 27, the Martinez Police Department responded to a report of anti-black hateful flyers posted on sidewalks near downtown. These offensive flyers threatened to harm those supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
In response to these flyers, I issued a statement on behalf of the City Council on June 30, 2020 stating:
“The fact that something so morally offensive as the two flyers found in the edges of our downtown area exists is just wrong and morally repugnant. It offends me personally; it offends our entire City Council and frankly is offensive to the community at large. Martinez does not tolerate hate-related crimes and as a community, we need to stand together to promote unity and acceptance of all people. This hateful, hurtful, and offensive act does not and will never define our City.”
Members of the community approached the City asking permission for a temporary public mural in the Downtown. The specific request noted: “Given the hateful rhetoric on the flyers this past weekend, an affirming message in support of Black lives, facilitated and approved by the city . . . is appropriate.” The community group, Martizians for Black Lives, who painted the mural, obtained a special event permit with the City that provided specifics for the project, including the materials used, the artwork to be painted and the protocols involved to ensure social distancing during the event. The group asked for an expedited review by the City to allow for this mural to be painted in a timely manner, so it could serve as a response to the offensive flyers from the weekend before.
Concurrent with review of this permit, on July 1, the Martinez City Council took urgency action and adopted by unanimous vote a resolution on equity and justice for all. The resolution states in part that as “…city leaders, we must and will listen to the voices of those in our communities who have suffered bias and have been treated unfairly. We must hear their words and turn them into effective action to protect the civil rights of every person.”
Consistent with this resolution, on July 2, our City Manager approved the Black Lives Matter (BLM) mural to be painted on Court Street. Approval of the use of our streets sends a message to all that African-Americans and other people of color are equal members of our community and hateful rhetoric will be actively rejected by our City. Feelings that isolate a single race with hate violates our values as a community and our civic institutions.
Since the mural has been painted, an attempt to paint over the mural and a separate incident that resulted in the brandishing of a firearm at the mural site have taken place. It is my sincere hope that our community’s expression of support for some members of our community does not unnecessarily stir up anger in others.
The City of Martinez has received new requests to use City streets to share other ideas or murals. The consideration of such requests is significantly different than the BLM mural at issue now. The City made a determination that a swift response to hateful rhetoric required a more timely consideration of the BLM permit. Doing so was consistent with and in furtherance of the City Council’s commitment to support equity and justice for all and to send a clear statement rejecting the prior week’s hateful flyers. The City supports the intended message of the BLM mural, namely, that all persons, no matter their race, are entitled to be treated with equality in our society. The City will be considering developing a program by which it will consider the future placement or erection of permanent murals or other expressions on public property in support of social justice and racial equality.
These are challenging times in our nation, our state, and our City. I am proud of our community and our shared belief in the equal worth of all people, and our City’s efforts to set an example of how we live up to that moral imperative.
With Respect for All,
30-year career serving East County
By Steve Aubert, Fire Marshall, Public Information Officer, East Contra Costa Fire Protection District
The East Contra Costa Fire Protection District is sad to announce the passing of retired Oakley and East Contra Costa Volunteer Fire Captain Mark Ayers.
Mark began serving the community of Oakley in March of 1978 as a volunteer firefighter with the Oakley Fire Protection District. For the next 30 years, he continued to make his community a safer place until his retirement in 2008 at the rank of Captain from the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District. Mark had a great impact on many firefighters as he took on the role of Oakley’s Training Captain. His influence lives on in the lessons and mentorship of his firefighters, many whom still work in the fire service.
Mark was 64 years old.
We would like to offer our condolences to the Ayers family and to thank them for sharing Mark with us. His legacy will continue to be with us.
The Ayers family would like to request donations be given in lieu of flowers to a Veterans Organization of your choice.
A Celebration of Life is planned to be held in Oakley. Details will be released when available.
Mark James Ayers
October 7, 1955-July 1, 2020
Mark James Ayers was born in Antioch, CA on October 7, 1955 and remained a resident of Oakley until 2016. He passed the afternoon of July 1, 2020 at his Sacramento home with his family by his side. He was preceded in death by his parents, Oliver “Bill” and Doris “Dorie” Ayers and his brother, Richard “Rick” Ayers. Mark is survived by his wife Lorraine “Rainy” (nee Senna), his daughter Devon Gambonini (Dan), stepson James Niccolson (Crystal), grandson Logan, and granddaughters Audrey and Abby. Mark was also “Papa Mark” to Joel Myers Jr. and Jake Myers.
Mark attended Liberty High School where he played drums as a part of the marching band. After his 1973 graduation, he went on to earn his Associates Degree in Fire Science at Los Medanos in Pittsburg, CA after which he joined KMART and JC Penney’s in Antioch, CA as the head of their Loss Prevention teams. Mark officially joined the Oakley Fire Department as a volunteer in March 1978 where he remained until 2008 retiring with the rank of Captain. DOW Chemical hired Mark in June 1986 and he climbed the ranks until June 2016 when he retired in his final position as Fire Chief. During his longstanding career in the fire service, Mark served as a mentor for many firefighters, including his nephew Michael as well as his daughter.
In his younger years, Mark enjoyed hunting, fishing, and competing in fire musters. Mark was handy and could fix just about anything that needed fixing. After years of being a motorcycle fan and to increase his personal joy and fulfillment, Mark traded in his Honda for a brand-new Harley Davidson. This decision led to him joining and becoming a lifetime member of the Iron Warriors Motorcycle Club, which is comprised of law enforcement and fire service personnel. During his time in the Club, Mark enjoyed a steadfast brotherhood and comradery. He was affectionately known by his Brothers as “Wilbur,” which dates to Mark’s one and only cycle accident on the street bearing the same name.
As much as Mark loved the fire department and motorcycle club, Mark’s true and deepest passion was his family. His biggest source of pride was his daughter and his grandchildren. Mark’s boisterous laugh and wicked sense of humor will be missed by all who knew him.
Mark’s final wish was not to have a funeral service, but rather a celebration of life or a “big ass party” as he preferred to laugh until you cry.
Although not a veteran himself, Mark spent time visiting with residents of the Veterans Home of California, Yountville and the family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be shared with a Veteran’s association of your choosing.Read More
Nearly one month’s worth of grass fires in five-hour period; unprecedented level of fire activity strains resources, limits responses
By Steve Hill, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District
Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) today made available details of the unprecedented fire and EMS activity, much of it fireworks related, occurring across the District during the Independence Day holiday weekend.
For the five-hour period from 7 p.m. to midnight on July 4, the District dispatched firefighting resources to 63 grass, structure other fires, including those burning in backyards, in dumpsters, and vehicles. For the entire Independence Day weekend, responses numbered 93 for fires.
In spite of 60-plus grass, vegetation and other exterior fires burning across the District on the evening of the Fourth, not a single structure was lost as a result of these fires. In one of the most dangerous fires, initially reported just before 11 p.m. in the vicinity of Southwood Drive and Oak Hills Drive in Pittsburg, more than 20 homes were threatened with fire burning to within 30 feet of several. Some 20 fire apparatus and crews worked for more than hour to contain this blaze without involvement of any homes.
Of the 13 structure fires occurring over the weekend, three are known to have, and others are suspected of having been, caused by illegal fireworks use. One was caused by a homeowner placing expended fireworks in a garbage can next to their home, which ignited the can’s contents, quickly spreading to the home’s exterior. In the second case, fireworks set off in an adjacent alleyway started a fire in a nearby home. Thanks to quick reporting and fire responses, damage in each of these cases was minor.
In the busiest hours of the weekend, between 9 and 11 p.m. on the evening of the Fourth, dispatchers were stretched to the limit, as were firefighters, by an unprecedented level of calls to the Contra Costa Regional Fire Communications Center. Crews were dispatched to nearly 50 fire incidents alone. At the height of this two-hour period, due to demand for emergency services, Con Fire was forced to limit assignments to all but structure fires to a single fire engine, increasing risks for both residents and firefighters.
Calls for emergency medical services were also up significantly over normal, non-holiday periods with some of this increase likely attributable to fireworks activity. On July 3, ambulances were dispatched on 272 EMS calls, which resulted in 182 patient transports. On the Fourth, 378 EMS incidents were responded to with 232 transported and on July 5, there were a total of 325 EMS incidents responded to with 194 transports made. During a non-holiday period, an average of 200 daily transports would be expected.
Thanks to considerable and costly preparation by Con Fire and other fire jurisdictions, disaster was in large part averted in Contra Costa County. Con Fire’s preparations included adding additional staffing including two firefighting bulldozers, hand crew 12, an additional wildland fire engine and crew, a water tender and crew, an additional battalion chief, an additional dispatcher, and all four fire investigators.
Working with fire agencies across the region, two firefighting task forces were also established consisting of four firefighting apparatus, crews and a chief officer each. One task force was available July 3 and two on the evening of the Fourth. Cooperating agencies included Con Fire, East Bay Regional Parks District, the Federal Fire Department MOTCO, and San Ramon Valley, East Contra Costa, and Moraga-Orinda Fire Protection Districts.Read More
An unidentified white couple was recorded painting over a Black Lives Matter street mural located in front of a Bay Area courthouse.
Posted by Corey L. Teague on Sunday, July 5, 2020
By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa District Attorney
Martinez, Calif. – Today, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office charged Martinez residents Nichole Anderson (42-years old) and David Nelson (53-years-old) with three misdemeanor counts, including a hate crime, for their alleged actions on Saturday, July 4, when defendant Anderson covered up a mural with the words BLACK LIVES MATTER in all capitals, with black paint. Nelson directly aided in the alleged criminal conduct. The incident was captured on video by witnesses.
On July 1, a local Martinez resident applied for a permit to paint a Black lives matter temporary mural on Court Street in downtown Martinez in front of the Wakefield Taylor Courthouse. The permit was approved by the City of Martinez and it was painted on July 4.
Nelson and Anderson arrived at the scene of the mural after it was completed with paint supplies. Anderson started to paint over the yellow letters “B” and “L” in the word “BLACK.” She used black paint and a large paint roller to do so. The video has been shared widely by witnesses and shared on social media.
“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 of our attention,” stated Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton. “The mural completed last weekend 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.”
In total, both defendants are charged for the following alleged offenses:
- Violation of Civil Rights, PC 422.6(b)
- Vandalism Under $400, PC 594(a)
- Possession of Tools to Commit Vandalism or Graffiti, PC 594.2(a)
If convicted, both defendants face up to a year in county jail. The alleged offenses are exempt from a specific bail amount due to the current county bail schedule in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Case information: People v. Nicole Claudia Anderson and David Richard Nelson, Docket Number 01-194031-1