The alleged suspect in the on air Virginia shootings, Vester Flanagan, had previously sued an employer on claims of racism back in 2000. This report surfaces after Vester allegedly tweeted that one of his victims had been ‘racist.’
In 2000, Vester Flanagan, then 26, filed a lawsuit against his then-employer, the Tallahassee affiliate of NBC. Vester, who is suspected of killing WDBJ news employees Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, during a gruesome shooting on the morning of Aug. 26, had just been fired from the outlet at the time of the lawsuit. Following the shooting, Vester, who also previously worked at WDBJ, allegedly took to Twitter, writing that Alison had “made racist comments.”
The Tallahassee Democrat published an article on the subject at the time of the lawsuit, an excerpt from which you can read below:
A local television anchor-reporter, slated to lose his job with Tallahassee’s NBC affiliate in two weeks, has filed a racial discrimination suit against the station — alleging that news producers and other managers made offensive remarks about blacks and fired him for complaining about it.
Management of WTWC-TV, Channel 40, said the station was having a “reduction in staff” requiring the firing, but that the company was proud of its diversity record.
Vester Flanagan, who has reported for WTWC-TV since last March, said he and another black employee were referred to as “monkeys” and that a supervisor once told him that “blacks are lazy and do not take advantage of free money” for scholarships and economic opportunities. He said when he cited his own background of nearly seven years in television, going back to internships at San Francisco State University, the supervisor told him he was an “exception.”
Flanagan, 26, said Thursday he was told on Feb. 9 his employment contract will not be renewed after March 15. Since filing suit late last month, he said, “their reaction has been more of arrogance and retaliation — they told me, ‘This is war,’ and there could be no compromise.”
The case was ultimately settled, however, details of the terms are unavailable. After being fired from WDBJ, Vester again filed a complaint, seeking $15,000 in damages. The case was dismissed.
Following a manhunt and police confrontation, Vester shot himself in the head. He is alive, in critical condition.
— Casey Mink