New York, NY – Video has emerged of a masked protester vandalizing the Black Lives Matter sign that the city painted on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower in New York City (video below).
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio led the charge to paint the giant letters in front of President Donald Trump’s signature Manhattan property.
The large yellow letters first painted on a public thruway in Washington, DC in June were completed in front of Trump Tower on Thursday, the Daily Mail reported.
On Monday, a man wearing a mask, baseball cap, and sunglasses was captured on cell phone video by a bystander as he vandalized the mural.
The video showed the man was carrying a brown grocery bag from which he pulled can of paint.
“C’mon,” the person behind the camera yelled just as the man took a can of red paint and sloshed it across several letters of the mural, the video showed.
Then he set down the paint can, picked up his grocery bag, and jogged off away from the protesters, running right down the middle of the mural.
“What’s your name?” one person yelled at his back in the video.
“We got you on video,” another yelled.
“I got you on video, too,” a third person hollered as the man disappeared, the video showed.
The city repainted the words hours after they were vandalized, the Daily Mail reported.
“To whoever vandalized our mural on 5th Avenue: nice try @NYCDOT has already fixed it,” de Blasio tweeted.
The bizarre scene was witnessed by a number of people including a man who sells “Dump Trump” t-shirts in front of Trump Tower, the Daily Mail reported.
The area outside Trump Tower has been the scene of countless protests since President Trump was elected in 2016.
The words painted on the street out front were one set of five signs that de Blasio vowed to paint every borough of New York City, the Daily Mail reported.
“When we say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ there is no more American statement, there is no more patriotic statement because there is no America without Black America,” the mayor said. “We are acknowledging the truth of ourselves as Americans by saying ‘Black Lives Matter.’ We are righting a wrong.”
President Trump said he thought the mural would look bad in the neighborhood and suggested it would antagonize police, the Daily Mail reported.
“Maybe our GREAT Police, who have been neutralized and scorned by a mayor who hates & disrespects them, won’t let this symbol of hate be affixed to New York’s greatest street,” the President tweeted on July 1.
But the only police presence near the mural thus far has been those officers detailed to protect it from counter-protesters and further vandalism, the Daily Mail reported.
A California couple were arrested and charged with a hate crime for painting over the letters spelling “Black Lives Matter” on the street in front of the courthouse in Martinez on July 4.
The street art was approved and permitted on July 1 and completed by more than 100 community members on Independence Day.
A few hours later, a man and a woman arrived “with cans of paint and a roller with the specific purpose of vandalizing over the mural,” the Martinez Police Department said in a statement released on Sunday.
“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 statement read.
Martinez police posted a link to the video of the incident and solicited help from the community to identify the perpetrators, ABC News reported.
The video showed the couple – later identified as 42-year-old Nicole Anderson and 53-year-old David Nelson – arguing with people as Anderson rolled black paint on to the “B” and “L” of the mural and Nelson filmed it.
Anderson wore a shirt with a heart-shaped American flag on it for her painting deed.
Nelson was wearing a “Trump Four More Years” t-shirt and a Make America Great Again hat, the video showed.
The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office charged Anderson and Nelson each with three misdemeanor counts, including violation of civil rights, vandalism, and possession of tools to commit vandalism or graffiti, CNN reported.
Watch the Trump Tower incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Obscene Language: