Wednesday, Melrose, California Mayor Paul Brodeur wrote on Facebook:
I have just been made aware that the following traffic sign is being displayed on Main Street.
I have ordered that it be taken down immediately and am taking steps to find out how this happened. I apologize to the residents of Melrose.
WCVB reports the Melrose, California police chief has launched an investigation after one of his officers typed a message on a traffic sign that read, in part, “All Lives Matter.”
Mayor Paul Brodeur shared a photo of the traffic sign, which has since been changed, to his Facebook page on Wednesday. In that photo, the sign reads “The safety of all lives matter.”
“I have ordered that it be taken down immediately and am taking steps to find out how this happened,” Brodeur wrote in his post. “I apologize to the residents of Melrose.”
The traffic sign is still up in the area of 236 Main St., but no longer displays the message. The sign appears to belong to the Melrose Police Department.
“The phrase ‘All Lives Matter’ is a trigger,” Brodeur told NewsCenter 5’s John Atwater. “It does not lead to an atmosphere where we can make progress, (where) we can have uncomfortable conversations and try to move it forward.”
In a statement, Melrose Police Chief Michael Lyle said Brodeur made him aware of the “unfortunate and improper wording” on the traffic sign. Lyle said a traffic officer was recently ordered to change the message from a reminder about fireworks being illegal to a more general traffic safety message, which ended up being a reminder about obeying the speed limit.
“I am aware that the phrase ‘all lives matter’ is commonly used as a misguided counter to the Black Lives Matter movement,” reads Lyle’s statement. “The sign was immediately changed and, at the request of the mayor, I launched an investigation, which is ongoing.”
Lyle said the traffic officer who changed the sign told him that he did not post the message with “either malicious or political intent.” The officer claims that he was trying to type a traffic safety message in the limited amount of space on the electronic sign and that he did not realize the totality or impact of what he wrote.
Nonetheless, the police chief said he would conduct a full and thorough investigation and that its findings will be made public.
Lyle said he will also address the matter to all of his officer and, effective immediately, will require any messages on roadways or electronic signs to be approved by his office before it goes live.
“On behalf of the Melrose Police Department, I sincerely apologize to our residents and anyone who drove past the sign today,” reads the chief’s statement.