Gravestone vandalized in North Attleboro cemetery

NORTH ATTLEBORO, MASS — A gravestone at Mt. Hope Cemetery in North Attleboro was vandalized with racist graffiti.

The words “black lives don’t matter” were spray-painted on the back of the gravestone. It’s not clear when the vandalism happened, but the Cemetery Board of Trustees says it was reported to them last week.

Michael Lewis was one of the people who reported it. He lives just off of Mt. Hope Street and says he first noticed the spray paint last week while jogging in the cemetery. He says he decided to return to the gravestone later that day with his children, where they laid rocks with positive messages nearby.

“To us it was an act of community service,” Lewis said. “So, by putting the rocks there, we were putting a symbol of love and community and putting a stand to that act in the cemetery.”

Lewis says he also reported it to the police. We reached out to the North Attleboro Police Department, but haven’t heard back yet.

Many say it’s a quiet and peaceful place and this is heartbreaking to see. Shonda Ducharme was walking her dog when she first saw the vandalized gravestone.

“It’s very sad, it’s very disrespectful,” Shonda Ducharme said. “If it was my family, I’d make sure I’m camping out and actually watch for who did it, because it’s very disrespectful.”

ABC 6 spoke to Mark Allen, a member on the Mount Hope Cemetery and Arboretum Board of Trustees. He says they’ve seen stones toppled over before, but never anything like this. He says it’s ultimately up to the family to remove the graffiti.

©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2020

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