NC trooper on leave after social posts about BLM, Trump rally
Posted January 11, 2021 3:48 p.m. EST
Updated January 12, 2021 12:59 p.m. EST
A member of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol is under investigation after a Facebook post in which he called the Black Lives Matter movement a “racist money laundering hate group.”
Master Trooper Mark Melvin made the post in December, and it has since been deleted. On Monday, he was placed on administrative duty while an internal administrative investigation is ongoing.
Melvin tagged himself present at last week's "Stop the Steal" rally in Washington, D.C., and posted two dozen photos with the words “Time To Save America!”
In the fall, he posted about Gov. Roy Cooper's coronavirus curfew order, writing, “I will not be enforcing this.”
Melvin, who has been a member of the Highway Patrol for 13 years, patrols in the Person County area. Person County residents shared the posts with WRAL News.
Troopers are subject to a code of conduct that requires them to "conduct themselves at all times, both on and off duty, in such a manner as to reflect most favorably upon the Highway Patrol and in keeping with the high standards of professional law enforcement."
Examples of conduct that would violate the code include "unwillingness or inability to perform assigned tasks." The code also requires troopers to be courteous and tactful.
Reached by phone, Melvin declined an interview with WRAL News.
First Sgt. Christopher Knox, Highway Patrol spokesman, issued this statement:
"Thank you for reaching out and sharing this information. We take any report of wrongdoing by our members very serious and we are assuredly looking into the matter. I can confirm that Master Trooper Mark S. Melvin is a current member of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and is assigned to Troop D, District 4(Person County). Unfortunately, we would not be able to provide further information at this juncture or conduct an interview due to the personnel matter under investigation."