Following the shooting of her boyfriend Philando Castile, the 34-year-old Minnesota man whose officer-involved shooting death Wednesday night was recorded in real-time using the Facebook Live feature, Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds spoke publicly for the first time early Thursday morning after she was released from police custody.
In a Facebook Live video uploaded by one of her friends, Reynolds spoke among friends and reporters on the events that led up to the shooting.
She said police were the ones who took over her phone, deactivated her Facebook account and deleted the video in an attempt to cover up possible evidence. Since police withheld her phone, she had no numbers to call anyone. Her phone has yet to be returned to her.
“The police killed him in front of my daughter,” a visibly distraught Reynolds can be heard saying off camera. “They asked him to show his identification, he was licensed to carry and as he was reaching for his ID in his back pocket when the police beared arms.” Minnesota is one of the more lenient states towards gun laws as a shall-issue state with a permit to carry for registered gun users.
Reynolds went on to say that police officers stopped her for a busted taillight although the taillight was not busted, and that Castile was shot five — not four — times as she had earlier reported during the live video stream at the time of the police stop.
Castile was to turn 35 on July 16.
On her time in police custody, Reynolds said she was not allowed to speak to anyone until 5 o’clock this morning, when she was dropped off by police back home — in spite of reports that she had been released hours earlier. She and her daughter were separated in different rooms and provided no food or water.
Reynolds described Castile as a very sweet man who was not gang affiliated and had no criminal history, and gave no reason for the officer to pull out his firearm.
“The police soothed him [the shooting officer], pulled him over to the side and began to calm him down and tell him that he would get through this as they put me in the backseat of the police car […] they left him [Castile] sitting in the car after they shot him. Nobody checked his pulse, nothing.”
Reynolds also said she chose to livestream the video so the world could see what police brutality looked like with their own eyes.
“I wanted everybody in the world to see what the police do and how they roll, and it’s not right. The police are not here to protect and serve us, they are here to assassinate us.”
“It used to be safe here, but the police, the people that are supposed to serve and protect us are not serving us and they are not protecting us. They are taking innocent people away from their families, and it’s not okay.”