NEW JERSEY (PIX11) — Home videos and photos of their son are all that remain for the family of Sammy Chapman.
The 16 year old died in February of 2021 after buying a counterfeit prescription pill from a drug dealer over Snapchat.
“The drug dealer had sent him a beautiful, compelling menu where you could get a Percocet or Xanax for a dollar,” Dr. Laura Berman, the teen’s mother who is also a prominent relationship expert, said.
Whether it’s on Snapchat or Tik Tok, the trend of preying on children over social media has gone widely unchecked, according to families like the Chapmans. To this day, no one was held accountable for their son’s death. They say criminals hide behind privacy guidelines on social media platforms.
Lawmakers are now trying to change that in a new bipartisan effort led by New Jersey Rep. Josh Gotthiemer that will tackle crime stemming from social media.
“We need transparency in social media to show the serious cause it’s having in deadly incidents affecting kids,” Gottheimer said during a virtual press conference Thursday. “We need to give parents access to this these are our kids.”
The “Combating Harmful Actions with Transparency on Social Act” or “Chats Act,” will allow the FBI to collect and report data when a crime is linked to activity on social media. It would establish data collecting guidelines allowing local law-enforcement to check a box stating whether a social media platform was involved in the crime.
It also requires the attorney general to publish annual reports breaking down which platforms are connected to which crimes. Addressing national security threats is also a centerpiece of the legislation
For the family of Sammy Chapman, it’s a matter of seeking Justice and educating other families about the dangers at their child’s fingertips