Residents of a Massachusetts community are disturbed after someone spray-painted racist graffiti on a headstone at a cemetery.
A monument at Mt. Hope Cemetery in North Attleborough was defaced with the racist phrase "Black lives don't matter."
"I'm just horrified to hear the story," said one resident, who identified herself as Maggie. "I've lived in this town for 16 years and I've taken walks in the cemetery many many times."
More on racism in America
Trustees of the cemetery taped cardboard over the offensive statement Monday until a cleaning crew came to power-wash the spray-paint off the headstone.
Police in North Attleborough say they're actively investigating.
"The only thing you can hope is that it's just dumb kids that realize their mistake, and not do it again," said resident Bill Copley.
A shaken cemetery trustee spoke to NBC10 Boston off-camera and believes the headstone may have been chosen because it's visible to the popular Mason Field.
"For somebody to use somebody's gravestone is sacrilegious, really," she said. "I don't know why people desecrate cemeteries."
The cemetery is non-profit, and it is also an arboretum that's popular with dog walkers.
Another cemetery, the nearby historic St. Mary's Cemetery, also had some vulgar graffiti spray-painted on a structure there.
Police say they are looking into whether the two cases are connected.
The trustee says they learned of the graffiti at the Mt. Hope Cemetery Friday morning from a resident who saw it while out getting exercise.
By Monday, most of the paint was off the stone, but not all of it.