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Bethesda African-America Cemetery calls for the resignation of Michael Riley

DC News Now
DC News Now
 2022-03-02

BETHESDA, Md. (WDVM) — A group of people headed to the Montgomery County Parks director’s office to hand him an eviction notice. They say the area, once a famous African American cemetery, has been mishandled, and they want their loved ones back.

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The Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition calls for Montgomery County Parks Director, Michael Riley, to step down.

The group says this comes after the dismissal of their concerns over the place that was once Moses African Cemetery is now a dumpsite, where toilet paper and mattresses were found.

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“We are ancestors, and our ancestors are us, and how can you tell a community that they will never control the remains of their loved ones,” said Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, president of BACC.

The organization, along with other community members, say that he also commanded a recreational park be built in Westbard that will cover the area.

“I made it known in a city council meeting in Silver Spring that there was a cemetery there, but they kept on saying that it was alleged that there was a cemetery. The cemetery was there. We played in it,” said a longtime resident of Bethesda, Harvey M. Matthews.

The organization is calling on county officials to make a change.

“Marc Ehrlich has a lot of power. He can invoke eminent domain today and solve this problem,” said Coleman-Adebayo.

WDVM reached out to Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and Michael Riley for comment, and we have not heard back.

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