UTICA - Congressman Anthony Brindisi says what happened to the family of Bianca Devins on after her murder in July should never happen to another family again.
Brindisi, along with Devins’s mother and grandfather, held a news conference Wednesday afternoon. The 17-year-old Proctor High School graduate was brutally murdered on Boilermaker Sunday, July 14th, allegedly at the hands of a man she was dating.
That man, 21-year-old Brandon Clark of Cicero, is also accused of posting pictures of Bianca's body on social media, which was then shared millions of times by others - including to members of Bianca's own family.
Now, just over three weeks later, Brindisi says he is taking steps to make sure what happened to Bianca's family does not happen to any other family in the future.
"Just after hearing the news of losing our 17-year-old Bianca, we started receiving notices on social media - private messages with the graphic photos of Bianca's death. Many of these private messages said ‘look at your daughter now.’ We cannot understand the emptiness of someone's heart and the cruelty that would make them do such a thing," said Frank Williams, Bianca’s grandfather.
Brindisi says he has written letters to both Instagram and the FTC as a start.
"I’m seeking Instagram's commitment to permanently ban users who share these images, to the best of their ability, to restrict these users' IPs from accessing the app under a different username," said Brindisi. “…and I'm calling on the Federal Trade Commission to use its authority to open a special probe into this case, into the sensitive content practices of large social media companies."
"The Devins family and I agree we cannot see another family experience what they've gone through these past few weeks."
Brindisi says he hopes that special probe by the FTC, if opened, will shed some light on exactly what went on at Instagram when the Devins family and others complained about the graphic images – but those images weren’t taken down until more than a week later.