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Hundreds of comments deleted from lawmaker's Facebook page after controversial traffic stop

Brockman (North Carolina General Assembly) Brockman (North Carolina General Assembly)

A North Carolina state representative under fire over his actions during a traffic stop in November has deleted hundreds of angry comments from
his Facebook page.

Representative Cecil Brockman (D-Guilford) was stopped by the North Carolina Highway Patrol on November 30 for failing to wear his seat belt. Brockman admitted to not wearing his seat belt but told troopers he should not get a ticket because he is a state representative.
“I would think you guys would be like ‘OK well I’m sorry about that sir. Being that who you are, I’m sorry you forgot that for just a few seconds.’ That is ridiculous to me,” dash cam video of the traffic stop showed Brockman saying.

Click here to watch the original story.

During the stop, Brockman also claimed he had been mistreated by the troopers because of his race.

“I referred to my position not to try to avoid a ticket, but to make my recognition easier due to my license plate and further let the troopers know who I am,” Brockman said in a emailed statement in response to questions for our original story. “Despite this, they remained suspicious of me, still not believing my identity. They then checked my VIN, for no other reasons than to make sure I had not stolen my own car. I do not expect special treatment as a state representative, however I do believe I deserve the same treatment as anybody else and I believe this stop was excessive.”

Brockman posted on his campaign’s Facebook page on December 14, the Monday after we first aired the video of Brockman’s traffic stop.

His post garnered more than 1,000 comments; some of those comments garnered more than 1,500 likes.

More than a week later, hundreds of comments have been deleted from Brockman’s post addressing the incident. There are currently just 847 comments responding to Brockman’s post.

Several people posted on Brockman’s page asking why comments had been deleted.

In an email to On Your Side Investigates, a staffer who identified himself as Brockman’s campaign manager, Grady O’Brien, said the lawmaker’s staff was managing the page and had set a criteria for which posts would be deleted.

“The Facebook page in question is controlled by campaign staff and not Rep. Brockman,” O’Brien said. “Staff is in the process of reviewing and removing posts that are harassing, obscene, or that use derogatory language.”

O’Brien did not respond to a follow-up question about why posts that did not appear to meet the criteria for deletion but had a large number of likes were deleted.

The staffer, who works for Brockman as his legislative assistant at the North Carolina General Assembly and said he was also Brockman’s campaign manager, did not clarify whether he was being paid to review and delete Facebook comments during the time in which he was working at the General Assembly or for the campaign.

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