A North Carolina master trooper is on leave following his controversial social media posts about the Black Lives Matter movement he shared last year.
Master Trooper Mark Melvin, a 40-year-old member of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, is the subject of an internal administrative investigation in connection to a December Facebook post, in which he called the Black Lives Matter movement a “racist money laundering hate group.” He was placed on leave on Monday, Jan. 11.
“I walked in to Barnes & Noble tonight and saw an entire section dedicated to Black Lives Matter. My first thought was… I wonder why they don’t have sections dedicated to any other racist money laundering hate groups,” Melvin wrote in the Facebook post.
The post has since been deleted.
Melvin, a 13-year veteran of the force, also marked himself “present” at the “Stop the Steal” rally that took place in Washington, D.C., last week before the riot at the Capitol. He used the words “Time to Save America” on a post with at least 24 photos.
Melvin also posted last fall that he would not enforce Gov. Roy Cooper’s coronavirus restrictions.
Sgt. Christopher Knox, a spokesperson for the department, issued a statement about Melvin’s conduct and the ongoing investigation.
“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.”
Person County residents who live in the area where Melvin patrols shared the posts with WRAL News.
The Highway Patrol’s code of conduct requires members 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.”
Melvin declined an interview with WRAL News.