Martinez announces plan to pave street over Black Lives Matter mural, officials say

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Saturday, September 19, 2020
Martinez city leaders plan to pave over BLM mural
Martinez city leaders announced plans to repave the road with a Black Lives Matter mural in October as part of a larger downtown renewal project.

MARTINEZ, Calif. (KGO) -- A Black Lives Matter mural in Martinez that was the scene of viral incidents this summer is scheduled to be paved over in early October.

Martinez's city manager said Wednesday night that the move will be part of a larger downtown project.

One community activist - not a mural organizer - says she wants city leaders to establish a permanent spot for the art.

RELATED: 2 Martinez residents charged with hate crime after allegedly defacing Black Lives Matter mural

"I think its very sad," Joy Radashaw said, "I think our young people especially during this time need symbols of hope and symbols of solidarity. its frustrating our community leadership is dragging their feet. "

The mural, requested by the group Martizians for Black Lives, was approved July 2 and painted two days later by a team of almost 100 volunteers.

Incidents surrounding the mural put Martinez in the national spotlight for a few weeks.

RELATED: Driver arrested after allegedly pulling gun on supporter of Black Lives Matter mural in Martinez

A man and a woman defaced it with black paint the day after it was created, and the next day, a man was arrested for waving a loaded handgun at a mural defender during an argument.

Two days after that, someone painted "White Lives Matter" on another Martinez street.

RELATED: Man caught on video slashing Martinez woman's tires, victim believes crime is racially motivated

And just few days later, a man was seen on security video photographing a car parked downtown exhibiting messages of equality for Black people and women -- and then slashing its tires.

City Manager Eric Figueroa said Wednesday that Justin Gomez of Martizians for Black Lives has since asked twice for permission to repaint the worn mural where it is, but was denied.

City Councilman Mark Ross said Wednesday night they are developing a protocol to approve public art installations going forward.

Bay City News contributed to this report.