Diamond Reynolds, the girlfriend of the late Philando Castile, has filed a defamation lawsuit against Elysian, Minnesota, Mayor Tom McBroom over a 2017 tweet where he wrote that a settlement she won from the city would be spent on “crack cocaine,” according to The Hill.
Reynolds was in the car with her boyfriend filming on Facebook Live during the murder of Castile, who was fatally shot by a police officer in 2016. Reynolds was sitting in the passenger seat and her 4-year-old daughter was in the back seat when Castile, who was driving the car, was fatally shot in 2016 by then-St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop. The officer was tried and then acquitted in June 2017 of manslaughter in Castile’s death. In November of the same year, the St. Anthony city council voted to give Reynolds $800,000 in connection to the shooting she and her daughter witnessed.
Now Reynolds is suing the mayor of Elysian for defamation after he wrote a social media post attacking her character. In a since-deleted Twitter post, the former Rice County sheriff’s sergeant stated, “She needs to come off County and State Aid now that she has some cash. It’ll be gone in 6 months on crack cocaine.” McBroom, later elected as mayor in 2018, was referring to the $800,000 Reynolds received in settlements after Castile’s death.
According to City Pages at the time, he claimed he was basing what he tweeted on “history,” saying the urge to spend rather than save. Insisting on the lack of money management in cases of police settlements.
“I’ve seen them come to court. They’ve lost their children, but they come to court dressed to the nines with Michael Kors purses. To be frank with you, they don’t have a pot to piss in,” McBroom said. “I see it time and time again and I just shake my head and say why wasn’t there anyone to help that person?”
According to the lawsuit filed, McBroom’s comments are “defamatory, false and racially motivated.” The suit also stated, “The Defendant was alleging that Plaintiff is an abuser of serious drugs, has an addiction that causes her financial stress, and is someone who bases her entire existence in terms of her costs of daily living on support from municipalities and other State of Minnesota entities.”
Reynolds is seeking $50,000 in damages and attorney’s fees.