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WDBJ Shooting Suspect Had a History of Racism Claims

Bryce Williams had alleged that producer at another TV station called him a ”monkey“ in 2000 lawsuit

The man suspected of fatally shooting WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward had a long history of race-based complaints in the workplace.

Deceased shooting suspect Bryce Williams, who claimed on social media that “Alison made racial comments” and that “Adam went to HR on me after working with me one time,” previously filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination and retaliation against another former employer, according to court papers obtained by TheWrap.

The suit, which was filed under Williams’ real name Vester L. Flanagan, was filed against Florida NBC affiliate WTWC in February 2000. In the suit, Flanagan alleged that he was working as a newscaster and anchor at the station when he was called a “monkey” by a producer at the station. Flanagan claimed that he subsequently learned that other black employees had also been called monkeys by officials at the station.

Flanagan also claimed that another official at the station complained, “blacks are lazy and do not take advantage of free money” while discussing college scholarship money available to African-Americans.

According to the complaint, shortly after Flanagan complained to the station about the alleged discrimination, he was told that his contract with the station would not be renewed.

The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice in January 2001.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.