A recently filed lawsuit accused Facebook of helping to radicalize the individuals who murdered a federal officer in May 2020. Department of Homeland Security Officer Dave Patrick Underwood was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting outside the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland, California.
One week later, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller was shot and killed during a shootout with the suspected killer, Steven Carrillo.
Now, Underwood’s sister is suing the social media company, blaming it for her brother’s death. The lawsuit claims that Carrillo and Robert Alvin Justus Jr., who is accused of driving the vehicle when Carrillo allegedly opened fire on Underwood, used Facebook to plan their attack and even boasted about their plans online.
“Facebook bears responsibility for the murder of my brother. As the lawsuit alleges, Facebook knowingly promoted inflammatory and violent content and connected extremists who plotted and carried out the killing of my brother,” Angela Underwood Jacobs said in a press release. “Facebook must be held responsible for the harm it has caused not just my family, but so many others, by promoting extremist content and building extremist groups on its platform.”
Underwood is seeking $25,000 in damages from Facebook.
“The shooting was not a random act of violence,” the lawsuit says. “It was the culmination of an extremist plot hatched and planned on Facebook by two men who Meta connected through Facebook’s groups infrastructure and its use of algorithms designed and intended to increase user engagement and, correspondingly, Meta’s profits.”