His daughter was murdered on live television. Ever since that fateful day, Andy Parker has fought to remove the viral video from the internet. Despite his efforts, the clip of Alison Parker’s violent death continues to circulate throughout the web.
In order to strengthen his case and honor her life, Andy Parker has decided to run for congress. What exactly happened to Alison Parker? Will her father ever be able to remove the video of her murder from the internet? Uncover the tragic details here.
What happened to Alison Parker?
Alison Parker was a journalist for CBS affiliate WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. On the day of her death in 2015, she and cameraman Adam Ward were interviewing the executive director of the local chamber of commerce, Vicki Gardner.
However, former coworker Vester Lee Flanagan, who was fired due to hostile behavior, entered the scene and shot Parker. Ward & Gardner were both shot immediately after. The gut-wrenching footage of Adam Ward’s camera falling to the ground was caught by the WDBJ station before the news stream was cut to the studio.
At least eight gunshots were heard in the footage, followed by screams. They would later discover that he shot a total of fifteen times. Flanagan fled the scene, but not before brief footage of him holding his gun was taken by the news.
Both Adam Ward & Alison Parker died on the scene. Yet, Gardner managed to survive the attack after receiving medical assistance. After a police chase for Flanagan continued through the day, he ultimately took his own life before he was captured.
Andy Parker’s battle to erase the viral clip
Video footage of the shooting — some of which was taken by the gunman — continues to appear on Facebook & Instagram despite promises from top executives that it will be removed, says a complaint filed by Andy Parker and his attorneys.
“The reality is that Facebook and Instagram put the onus on victims and their families to do the policing of graphic content — requiring them to relive their worst moments over and over to curb the proliferation of these videos,” says the complaint.
The complaint maintains that Facebook is involved in deceptive trade practices by violating its own terms of service and misrepresenting the safety of the platform and how difficult it is for users to get dangerous content removed.
Andy Parker previously worked with the Georgetown law clinic to file a similar FTC complaint against Google and its YouTube service. Unfortunately, it’s still all too easy to find the video of his daughter’s murder online.
Parker decides to run for congress
“I always wanted to honor her life with action,” Parker said in a recent Zoom interview, a framed photo of Alison is seen behind him. “I think that is what has compelled me to do this.”
He added, “I had fought this battle as a private citizen as long as I could. The only way to fix it is through congressional action. That’s it.”
Parker is pursuing the Democratic nomination in Virginia’s newly created fifth Congressional district, now a section that extends from the center of the state to the North Carolina border.
In a video announcing his candidacy, Parker said he was running “to make the internet safer for kids and for families”. The clip includes images of CEOs Mark Zuckerberg & Jeff Bezos as he argues that the economy works against middle-class Americans. “In America today, we’ve got an economy that makes tech billionaires rich enough to go to space, while young people can’t afford to go to college,” he says in the video.
Do you think Andy Parker will one day be able to eradicate the video of his daughter’s death? Will his congressional seat really help his struggle? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.