Diamond Reynolds, Girlfriend Of Philando Castile, Receives Formal Apology From Minnesota Mayor For Denigrating 2017 Tweet
The mayor apologized after Reynolds dropped the lawsuit.
July 22, 2020 at 4:51 pm
While still grappling with the trauma of having been right next to Castile when he was shot in his vehicle by police officer Jeronimo Yanez a year prior, Reynolds became subject to demoralizing accusations from current Elysian, Minnesota Mayor Tom McBroom.
“She needs to come off County and State Aid now that she has some cash. It’ll be gone in six months on crack cocaine,” McBroom said in a 2017 tweet after Reynolds received an $800,000 settlement following the loss of her partner, according to the Star Tribune.
Reynolds filed a lawsuit shortly after seeing the remark, saying the comment was defamatory and racially motivated. On Thursday, the two parties came to an agreement, stipulating that Reynolds drop the lawsuit and the mayor apologize, the Star Tribune reported. Although the complaint asked for $50,000, their attorneys didn't disclose if Reynolds received any money.
“I want to apologize to you for my remarks I made when you were awarded money for the loss of Mr. Castile," the mayor said in his apology. "From everything I have read since, he was a good person and well liked within his community and school. You lost a loved one and your daughter witnessed a violent act that no young child should ever have to witness."
McBroom, who was previously a sheriff’s sergeant, was demoted to deputy after the controversial tweet, the Star Tribune reported. He served concurrently as a city council member in 2017 and was elected as mayor a year later.
“His comments were not the beliefs of our agency, and we’re trying to move forward in a positive manner,” Sheriff Troy Dunn said about McBroom's tweet. “I hope that [the public] just trusts that we’re in this to do the right thing and that we’re trying to provide great training and great people to do a job here.”
Reynolds livestreamed the death of Castile on Facebook with her daughter sitting in the back of the car. The fatal incident took place when former officer Yanez stopped the family for a broken light in St. Anthony, Minnesota, as Blavity previously reported. While reaching for his wallet and ID, the 32-year-old public school nutrition worker was shot seven times.
"He let the officer know that he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him in his arm," Reynolds said on the livestream.
Video footage also captured the mother's exchange with her daughter after the shooting, as Blavity previously reported.
“I wish this town was safer. We wouldn’t live in this. I don’t want it to be like this anymore,” the 4-year-old said.
The mother tried to find an answer for her daughter while she was overcome with shock.
“Tell that to the police when they come, OK?” Reynolds told the little girl. “Tell them that you wish they didn’t have to kill people.”
According to KSTP, Yanez was charged with second-degree manslaughter, but a jury found him not guilty.