Something has got to change.
In Falcon Heights, Minnesota on Wednesday, Philando Castile was killed by a police officer who shot him multiple times during a traffic stop.
His girlfriend, Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds, filmed the gruesome aftermath of the horrific scene and posted on Facebook Live.
While her man bled to death in the car, she explained that they had been pulled over for a supposed broken tail light, and Philando was reaching for his license and registration when he was shot repeatedly — with her four-year-old daughter in the backseat.
On Thursday, Lavish met with press and protesters gathered outside Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton‘s mansion, where she opened up about her boyfriend’s murder, exclaiming that she shared the graphic, tragic video to highlight the violent discrimination black people face at the hands of the authorities:
“I didn’t do it for pity. I didn’t do it for fame. I did it so the world knows that these police are not here to protect and serve us. They are here to assassinate us. They are here to kill us because we are black. We don’t support each other enough so that they feel like they can take us off the map.”
“It’s not fair. They’re giving all these people these authorities, the right to kill us! It could’ve been you! It could’ve been you! It could’ve been you, or you, or you! It could’ve been any of us!”
The grieving girlfriend called out the absurd inequality between the way she and the officer were treated following the shocking shooting, saying:
“I want justice! He should not be home with his family. He should be somewhere in jail, handcuffed. They took me to jail. They didn’t feed us. They didn’t give us water. They took everything from me. They put me in a room and separated me from my child. They treated me like a prisoner. They treated me like I did this to me, and I didn’t. They did this to us. They took a black man away.”
She went on to say that she wasn’t even released from the Roseville precinct until early in the morning, contradictory to what some outlets were reporting:
“They took me off the scene. I was not allowed to talk to anybody. And up until five o’clock this morning when they dropped me off on my doorstep.”
Lavish also explained she wasn’t informed that Philando was dead until 3 a.m., and had even been directed to visit him at a DIFFERENT hospital than the one where he had actually been taken.
The mother said her late boyfriend worked for a public school, and never had a criminal record or any gang affiliation.
She also revealed that he was 34 years old — news sources had been previously reporting that he was 32 — and only nine days away from celebrating his 35th birthday .
The poor woman slammed the police department, accusing them of doing whatever is necessary to paint this as a justified killing:
“Everybody who shared that video, they don’t want you guys to be a part of this. They don’t want us to stand up for one another. They don’t want us to support each other. They want everybody to stand up for them. They are going to tamper with evidence. They are going to tamper with witnesses. They’re going to do whatever they have to do to cover their butts. And this is not right. It’s not acceptable.”
She insisted that the authorities aren’t doing their sworn duty to protect and serve, and are instead claiming innocent lives:
“We didn’t do this to our community. The police did this to our community. 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. They are taking innocent people off the streets. And it’s not okay. It’s not okay.”
Ms. Reynolds declared that, following this terrible tragedy, people of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds need to come together:
“If you guys see that video that went viral, everyone will see that this was a very detrimental situation, not only to me, not only to her, but everybody in this community. Everybody in this world, not just blacks, not just whites, not just asians, but everyone, this affected everyone. And not black lives matter. All lives matter. Every single life out here matters. No matter the color, the race, the nationality, we all deserve to be heard.”
And she has these demands for the Minnesota governor:
“I want Governor Mark Dayton to allow these people who are licensed to carry to have more rights. If we are able to carry, licensed to carry, then a police officer should not be able to gun a man down for no reason. Also, I would like for him to get more involved in these police officers. They have mental problems. They have battles that they’re fighting. So, when they’re coming out to serve and protect, they’re not serving and protecting us because they’re damaged from all the past and previous people they didn’t kill.”
Lavish also described some disturbing details about the aftermath of the shooting, saying the cops “took my phone and threw it, after they had guns, machine guns, pointed at my back.”
She also admitted that no one on the force comforted her or her young daughter in the wake of the terrifying killing, but that they instead began to console the cop who pulled the trigger:
“The police officers soothed him. They pulled him over to the side and began to calm him down and tell him that it was okay and he would get through this, as they put me in the backseat of the police car.”
And in all the commotion, the mourning woman recalls that no one even bothered to help Philando as he lay bleeding in the vehicle:
“They left him sitting in a car after they shot him. Nobody checked his pulse, nothing. The police officer that was on my side walked away to call for backup, and the police officer that shot him was still standing there with his gun still drawn.”
She also made a powerful point about the controversial killing, regarding the officer’s conflicting orders:
“How can you not move when you’re asking for license and registration? It’s either you want my hands in the air, or you want my information and my identification. It’s either you want me to freeze when I’m not being arrested, or you want me to reach for my identification to let you know who I am. I can’t do two things at one time.”
And she wanted the public to judge what happened based on her video, rather than the story the authorities tell the media:
“I wanted everyone in the world to know that no matter how much the police tamper with evidence, how much they stick together, how they manipulate our minds to believe what they want, I wanted to put it on Facebook to go viral so that the people can see. So that the people can see. I wanted the people to determine who was right and who was wrong.”
Lavish also thanked everyone who has supported her in the wake of this devastating and senseless loss:
“I appreciate everybody for being here. I thank the world for supporting me. I thank everybody for sharing that video. I just ask that we get justice.”
But the person she wanted to thank the most was her four-year-old daughter, who was her rock during this traumatic and heartbreaking experience:
“My daughter’s been being stronger than me. That little girl, she is the warrior behind that. Without this little angel on my side, I would never have been able to make it through this.”
She also called for the police and the government to throw her boyfriend a beautiful funeral service, saying that they owe him that much for unnecessarily taking his life:
“Not only do I want justice and want peace, but I feel like they deserve him the best funeral they can throw for him. I feel like doves need to be released. I feel like there needs to be a pastor here praying over these people, nurturing these people.”
You can watch her emotional statement in this video (below):
[Image via Facebook.]