The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office has launched a civil rights investigation into a state representative over social media posts encouraging property destruction at homes displaying lawn signs supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
Rep. James Spillane, a Republican in Rockingham's second district, is being investigated after posting a message on Facebook inviting people to "loot and burn" houses with Black Lives Matter signs. The post can be seen in a screenshot shared by the Civil Rights Unit of the AG's office.
Assistant Attorney General Sean Locke, the director of the Civil Rights Unit, announced the investigation in a letter to House Speaker Stephen Shurtleff Thursday, noting that the office had received multiple complaints in the last two days.
"Members of the public who support the Black Lives Matter movement have expressed fear that they may become targets of violence as a result of Rep. Spillane's post," Locke said in the letter.
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Authorities are investigating whether Spillane violated the New Hampshire Civil Rights Act.
"Representative Spillane's comments about the Black Lives Matter movement and his further incitement of violence, put the lives of Granite Staters in jeopardy," Shurtleff said in a statement. "It is inexcusable. Representative Spillane should resign his seat immediately."
In full, Spillane wrote, "Public Service Announcement: if you see a BLM sign on a lawn it's the same as having the porch light on for Halloween. You're free to loot and burn that house," the screenshot shows.
A Facebook page that appeared to belong to Spillane was not publicly displaying the post as of Thursday night. But a Twitter account with his campaign page in the bio called U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a "piece of [expletive]" as recently as Wednesday evening.
On his campaign page, Spillane describes himself as a "Constitutional Conservative." He is running for his party's nomination for re-election in the state primary next Tuesday.
In 2017, while a member of the House, Spillane was arrested on drunk driving charges.