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Martinez PD Chief Sappal Asks For Public Help In Identifying BLM Mural Vandals

A screen grab from a video of the incident filmed July 4.

From Martinez Police Chief Manjit Sappal:

On July 4th, community members obtained a permit from the City to paint Black Lives Matter on Court Street in downtown Martinez. Once the mural was completed, an unidentified white male and white female arrived.

While the male made comments to a group of onlookers his companion began painting over the mural with black paint. At one point she made a statement that this was not, “…happening in my town.” She also asked
the male to get her another can of paint to continue with the act of vandalism. It appeared that the couple came to the mural with cans of paint and a roller with the specific purpose of vandalizing over the mural.

The community spent a considerable amount of time painting this mural only to have the suspects destroy it by dumping and rolling paint over part of the message. The incident was captured on video and posted on YouTube.

MPD was notified and by the time we arrived the suspects were gone. A witness provided a photograph of the suspect’s vehicle which was described as a Nissan pickup truck with the word “NICOLE” on the right side of the tailgate in silver lettering. The truck has a camper shell and the license plate is 52701B1.

The case is currently under investigation and if any members of the public can identify the male and female involved in this incident please call our Dispatch Center at 925-372-3440 with the information.

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 City of Martinez values tolerance and the damage to the mural was divisive and hurtful. Please help us identify those that are responsible for this crime, so they can be held accountable for their actions.


  1. I watched the video and was a little surprised a police car didn’t roll up as it was happening. You can hear someone call it in. Am I missing something?

  2. Was it some kind of attempt at publicity? They didnt seem very serious about covering up the letters and most anyone would know that 2 cans of paint aren’t enough — but then the guy stomping around, shouting slogans and getting in people’s faces while filming. Were they hoping someone would react and fight them?

  3. I’m guessing these people are in for a world of hurt once the video goes viral. I worked a block down from the Black Lives Matter mural and am proud of Martinez for allowing such a mural to be painted. It is now a fonder memory.

  4. She says she’s from Martinez or that it’s her town. I wonder if that will turn out to be true.

  5. How about we don’t litter our streets with racial graffiti in the fi6 place instead of looking to prosicute the people trying to cover it up!!

    • The BLM street mural was sanctioned by elected local government, so it wasn’t criminals who placed it there…So there’s that. Have you tried voting? Or public service? Any citizen can do it. “It’s a free country”, I read.

  6. Contact made. Statements taken by police. No arrests, just as one might expect for a misdemeanor vandalism charge. Names? Were they cited? Or is this hot potato just tossed to the DA as-is. These were not misbehaving teens. Names please.

  7. I didn’t know it was so easy to obtain a permit to paint a mural. I don’t consider this a mural and I’m not surprised that it has been vandalized. This is a movement that has several factions. Because of the different factions this is becoming extremely polarizing. It was stupid for Martinez to give a permit to a claimed mural. This is a political statement movement that has no tolerance or others that do not agree with their mantra. This painted Street, would never have been allowed if it said anything else other than this. The people of Martinez should’ve been allowed to vote On this matter since it was so huge this is more than a mural.

    • Of course it is a political statement. Not popular in 2014. Not popular in 2016. It’s popular NOW, now that systemic racism has become obvious to many people who could not see it before. Some people will never see it. This is not something you put on the ballot. This is where the people we elect LEAD, or don’t lead. In case you haven’t noticed, BLM is not just a bunch of angry black people. It has w i d e demographic support in 2020. White grandmas and grandpas are marching.

    • Kim: I agree with you. First, it is not a mural. It is big block letters supporting a particular political position and has no more business being painted on streets than “Vote Schroder” or supporting a particular position on abortion or religion. It does not matter if many or most support it, it is a political statement and should not be on city property. Second, my belief is that it is an ugly and manipulative political position. Many are against racism and against BLM at the same time. I am against racism, but extremely dislike BLM with the protests, physical assaults, arson, looting and extreme intolerance and selective outrage. Their message is incredibly manipulative so that many believe not supporting BLM means you are racist. Someone here even posted that vandalism of that BLM sign should be a hate crime, which shows you how they have manipulated public perceptions.

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