RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is investigating one of its troopers following a social media post in which he described the Black Lives Matter movement as a “racist money laundering hate group.”
Master Trooper Mark Melvin posted the comment to Facebook in December. It’s since been deleted, WRAL reported Tuesday. On Monday, Melvin was placed on administrative duty while an internal investigation continues.
A message left on a phone number listed for Melvin was not immediately returned Tuesday.
First Sgt. Christopher Knox, a spokesman for the North Carolina Highway Patrol, confirmed that an investigation was underway.
“We take any report of wrongdoing by our members very serious and we are assuredly looking into the matter,” Knox said, adding he could not provide additional details.
The station also reported that Melvin tagged himself on Facebook as present at the U.S. Capitol siege and posted pictures. Previously, he also said on social media that he would not enforce the curfew ordered by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper in response to spiking coronavirus cases.
Melvin is a 13-year veteran of the Highway Patrol who works in the Person County area. Local residents shared his social media posts with WRAL, the report said.
The patrol issued a new code of conduct in 2010 under then-Gov. Beverly Perdue. It calls on troopers to “avoid any conduct that might compromise my integrity and thus undercut the public confidence in the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.”
Also, the code of conduct calls on troopers to “perform all duties impartially, without favor or affection or ill will and without regard to status, sex, race, religion, political belief or aspiration. All citizens will be treated equally with courtesy, consideration and dignity.”