ROANOKE, Va. - Going after Google: The father of Alison Parker wants the video of her murder taken down from the online platform. The most painful moment of Andy Parker’s life unfolded on live television in 2015 when his daughter and photographer Adam Ward were shot and killed while conducting an interview at Bridgewater Plaza. While TV viewers unknowingly witnessed their deaths in real time, the video can now be replayed for viewers around the world because it’s been posted on YouTube.
In a one-on-one interview, Parker told 10 News he has chosen not to watch the video.
"Would you want to see it? No, I didn't want to see my daughter dying,” Parker said.
A quick Google search for Alison Parker's name, and dozens of edited videos pop up, all using the broadcast he vows never to watch. As many times as it’s been republished, Parker admits that he has almost accidentally seen it.
"I've never seen the video of Alison's murder. I never will. It's like a booby trap with a landmine out there that I've tried to avoid. I've come close inadvertently to seeing it," Parker said.
The video is even used and republished by conspiracy theorists to deny the shooting ever happened. The "hoaxers" have made claims that Parker is a crisis actor, and Alison was never actually killed. They theorize it never happened, and have come up with multiple outlandish claims of why someone would stage such a horrific event, including an attempt to take away firearms.
Often many of the claims personally attack Andy Parker, who’s become very outspoken about gun reform.
“You lose your daughter, you lose somebody you love, and on the back end of it you get people who say this is all made up, you are a crisis actor, it's a hoax, Alison has had plastic surgery, she's living in Israel someplace. The crazy stuff like that,” Parker said. “It's vicious, it's cruel, but those people are out there."
Parker recently published an opinions piece in The Washington Post detailing his fight with Google. Asking for what he calls human decency, the fight has been going on for two years to have the videos removed from YouTube. It's been an uphill battle.
"Imagine someone saying, ‘Your daughter is murdered. We have it on video. We are publishing it. You tell us why you think why we should pull it down.’ What human being would do that? What corporation would do that?"
To strengthen his fight, he even got the copyright to the video. His lawyers at Georgetown University Civil Rights Law Clinic sent a letter to Google demanding that it take the videos down, adhering to its own terms of service. Parker points out that Google is quick to take down videos that use popular copywritten music, but won’t take action on video of his daughter’s murder.
“They want to keep someone clicking because every time they click you gain more data. What they do with that data, even when there is no ad running, they sell it. So in essence, Google monetizes Alison's murder. And I can't tolerate that,” Parker said.
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