UPDATE: 7/7/2016: After being released by police custody around 5am Central time this morning, Diamond ‘Lavish’ Reynolds spoke publicly for the first time. According to Reynolds, St. Anthony Police Department were responsible for deactivating her Facebook and pulling the video. Read the full story with video of Reynolds speaking here.
Before Black America even has time to grieve the loss of Alton Sterling at the hands of police brutality, police shot and killed another Black person Wednesday evening. Hours after Baton Rouge police officers shot and killed Sterling, a 31-year-old man who had been selling CDs outside of a convenience store, Lavish Reynolds used Facebook’s live video feature to plea for help after Minnesota police shot and killed her boyfriend Philando Castile — all in the presence her 4-year-old daughter.
In the video — which has now been deleted by Facebook, along with her account — Reynolds calmly explained while next to her bleeding boyfriend that police pulled her over for a busted taillight and that Castile was shot after reaching for his wallet when police asked him to show them his ID. According to Reynolds, Castile, who was on the passenger side of the car, informed officers he had a firearm on him with a permit to carry — all completely legal in Minnesota — before being shot four times. Local news WCCO confirmed Castile’s death around 11 p.m. Central Time. Facebook pulled the video, along with deactivating Reynolds’ Facebook account, but not before 1.4 million Facebook users watched it. Other outlets downloaded the video, which is still accessible.
CONTENT WARNING: Image below contains screenshot from Lavish Reynolds’ video before it was removed by Facebook.