Minnesota woman who streamed video of dying boyfriend decries police who shot him
Diamond Reynolds, who streamed a video of her dying boyfriend after he’d been shot by police, lashed out at officers in a second video, seen below, likening them to assassins. (Warning: The video contains explicit language.)
Reynold’s boyfriend was killed by police Wednesday night in a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minn. Reynolds captured the aftermath of the shooting on a Facebook Live video, which was viewed more than 1 million times.
Speaking on video from St. Paul once she was released from jail — where she spent the night with her daughter, who also was in the car during the shooting — a teary and angry Reynolds explained that she was posting from a friend’s Facebook account because police had taken her phone.
Reynolds gave a chronology of the shooting, which the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating. Police have offered few details on the shooting.
Reynolds said she and boyfriend Philando Castile were “pulled over for an allegedly broken tail light” and asked whether they were aware of the broken light.
“As we said no, he tells us to put our hands in the air” and asked for identification. “My boyfriend carries all his information in a thick wallet in his back pocket. As he reaches for the wallet, he lets the officer know, ‘I have a gun on me.’ ”
“I yell, ‘He has a license to carry!’ ” Reynolds said, describing the moment before she heard a “boom boom boom boom!” and four or five shots taken “for no reason.”
I wanted to put it on Facebook and go viral so that people can see. … I wanted people to see.
Reynolds said that she and Philando, a school cafeteria worker, were returning from the grocery store and had just dropped off her sister, who lives near the state fairgrounds in Falcon Heights.
“He was never a bad man. He never did anything to hurt anyone. He was the quietest, most laid-back person you’d ever meet. He was loving. … Nothing within his body language said, ‘Kill me.’ ”
After a reporter asked her why she broadcast the video on Facebook and how she remained calm after watching her boyfriend being shot, Reynolds replied that she “did not do it for pity; I did not do it for fame.”
“I did it because these people are not here to protect and serve us. They are here to assassinate us. They are here to kill us because we are black.
“I wanted for everyone in the world to know that no matter how much police tamper evidence, how much they stick together … I wanted to put it on Facebook and go viral so that people can see. … I wanted people to see.”
Describing what happened after the shooting, Reynolds said the officer, who has not been identified and is on paid administrative leave, cried and that police “took my phone and threw it” while they arrested her, pointing guns at her back.
She also claimed that police gave her false information about the hospital where Castile was taken, saying he was at Regions Hospital. When she arrived to that hospital, she learned he was at Hennepin County Medical Center.
Police said Castile died early Thursday. An autopsy will be performed by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.
“I never got to see him. I never got to say my last words to that man,” said Reynolds, who said police “treated me like a prisoner” while she was in jail.
“They didn’t feed us; they didn’t give us water. They took everything from me,” she said.
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