California racist vandalism “… a terrorist act against the Black community.”

Here is another example of abhorrent racist behavior in California. 

A Black Lives Mural in Santa Cruz was defaced with tire tread marks. (photo above)

The mentally challenged young men who committed this act of racist vandalism might as well have been wearing Ku Klux Klan uniforms when they performed this despicable act.

San Francisco Chronicle 7.25.2021

Police have arrested two people on suspicion of defacing a Black Lives Matter mural painted on a street in downtown Santa Cruz, investigators said Sunday.

At a community meeting Sunday morning at Police Department headquarters that was attended by several dozen people and also broadcast on Facebook, tensions ran high, with many questioning why the two men were not charged with a hate crime.

“This was a terrorist act against the Black community,” said one attendee. “This is actually an act of violence, it’s psychological damage.”

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Santa Cruz citizens met to condemn the racist attack on Black Lives Matter mural

The mural at 800 Center St. was defaced with vehicle tread marks late Friday, according to authorities, who said they received reports early Saturday.

“The targeted vandalism of the … mural is heartbreaking and violating,” Santa Cruz Mayor Donna Meyers said Sunday.

Brandon Bochat, 20, of Santa Cruz and Hagan Warner, 19, of Boulder Creek (Santa Cruz County) were seen on video provided to law enforcement by community members “burning out” or intentionally applying vehicle tread marks to the length of the mural, officials said.

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Brandon Bochat, 20, of Santa Cruz and Hagan Warner, 19, of Boulder Creek (Santa Cruz County)

The two took turns driving over the mural, authorities said. Police Chief Andy Mills said Sunday that the underlying street was also damaged.

“This was an intentional act of vandalism on something that our community holds dear,” Mills said Sunday.

“For those who seek to minimize the events that took place,” he added, “shame on you. This was meaningful to this community, and we will do everything within our power to make sure those who did this are brought to justice.”

City Manager Martín Bernal said the city is working closely with the Santa Cruz Equity Collaborative, the organization that originally helped create the mural, to repair the damage as soon as possible. He added the work is still in progress, and staff does not have a specific dates for completion yet.

The two suspects were arrested and booked on felony vandalism charges Saturday night, police said. Both were released on bail.

Mills said investigators are still collecting evidence, including looking at the social media accounts of those arrested. He added that if sufficient evidence exists at the end of an investigation, the two will be charged with a hate crime.

Investigators are still looking for at least two more people in connection with the vandalism. Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact the Santa Cruz Police Department Investigations Unit at (831) 420-5820.