Facebook Deactivation, Detainment Could Not Keep Philando Castile’s Girlfriend from Speaking Out: ‘We Knew Our Rights, Followed Procedure’

Lavish Reynolds, the Minnesota woman who filled the aftermath of her boyfriend being shot by police. Pohot courtesy of Facebook.

Lavish Reynolds, the Minnesota woman who filmed the aftermath of her boyfriend being shot by police. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

“Oh my gosh, please don’t tell me he’s dead.”

Those were the harrowing words of Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds, the Minnesota woman who live-streamed the aftermath of police shooting and killing her boyfriend, 32-year-old Philando Castile.

Uploaded to Reynolds’ Facebook page in the wee hours of Thursday morning, the gruesome video shows a bloodied Castile slumped in Reynolds’ car moments after he was shot by a police officer, who pulled the couple over for a broken tail light. The responding officer can be seen in the video with his gun still drawn.

“He was trying to get out his ID and his wallet out his pocket,” Reynolds explained amid audible moans from her boyfriend slowly dying in the passenger’s seat. “The officer just shot him in his arm.”

Her live footage has since gone viral, garnering over 221,000 views and 12,788 shares on Facebook. This is before the social media giant opted to deactivate Reynolds’ account, however, and delete her video due to its graphic nature. But it was too late by then, as the footage had already spread to other social media sites like Twitter and Instagram.

The disturbing video comes just one day after the horrific shooting of an African-American man in Louisiana, which was also caught on tape. Alton Sterling, 37, was gunned down by police Tuesday as he was selling CDs outside a local Baton Rouge convenience store. Both Sterling’s and Castile’s deaths have sparked outrage and protests across the country, with citizens demanding justice for the two slain men.

Following the shooting, an officer can be heard in the video instructing Reynolds to exit the vehicle with her hands up. The couple’s daughter was also in the car at the time of the shooting.

“Ma’am you’re just being detained right now until we get this all sorted out, OK?” another officer tells the Minnesota woman as she was handcuffed.

Reynolds and her 4-year-old daughter were then placed in the back of a police cruiser and transported to the precinct. According to social media reports, Reynolds was released from police custody around 1 a.m. Thursday, but hadn’t been seen or heard from. Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile, also confirmed Reynolds’ brief disappearance during a live interview with CNN earlier today.

“We can’t locate her,” Castile said. “We don’t know where she is.”

Soon after, the hashtag #WhereIsLavishReynolds began circulating on social media, with users inquiring into her health and well-being.



Reynolds turned out to be alive and well after posting another live stream video to her Facebook page around 10 a.m. Thursday. Her social media account has since been re-activated.

Reynolds further details the tragic timeline of events, stating that neither she nor her daughter received food or water while they were detained at the precinct.Β She also confirmed that it wasn’t until 5 a.m. β€” not 1 a.m. β€” that she was released from police custody.

“They didn’t let me know he [Castile] was dead until 3 this morning,” she explained. “I didn’t arrive home until about 5 this morning.

She has since spoken in more detail about the incident. Watch it here:

Back to top