Diamond Reynolds, who broadcast to the world what happened after a Minnesota police officer fatally shot her boyfriend, Philando Castile, has agreed to a settlement worth $800,000, authorities announced this week.
This agreement comes months after the officer, Jeronimo Yanez, was acquitted in a high-profile trial. He was subsequently dismissed from his police force in St. Anthony, Minn., and that city reached a settlement with Castile’s family.
Reynolds’s settlement still has to be approved by a court, which would mark an end to what would likely be the last major legal chapter stemming from the July 2016 shooting.
Castile was one of at least 963 people fatally shot by police officers last year, and his death became among the most well-known due to the dramatic footage Reynolds captured that night.
His Oldsmobile was pulled over on July 6, 2016, in Falcon Heights, a suburb not far from Minneapolis and St. Paul. Yanez said he had stopped him for a broken taillight, but the officer said later he thought Castile looked like the suspect in a recent robbery.
After Castile alerted Yanez that he had a gun in the car, the stop quickly shifted. Yanez fired into the car, striking Castile, and said afterward that he believed Castile was reaching for his gun.
“I, was scared and I was, in fear for my life and my partner’s life,” Yanez told state agents investigating the shooting, according to a transcript. “And for the little girl in the back and the front seat passenger.”
Reynolds, sitting in the passenger seat with her 4-year-old daughter seated behind her, argued that Castile was not reaching for his weapon. She began to livestream what was happening on Facebook Live, pleading with him to “stay with me” in footage that quickly rocketed around the world. Heated protests quickly erupted in the Twin Cities area, demonstrations recurred this year after Yanez was acquitted in court.
Yanez was found not guilty in June of manslaughter and of two counts of endangering Reynolds and her daughter. Photographs taken inside the car and presented as evidence showed that one bullet passed through Castile’s seat and hit the back seat, inches from where the girl was sitting.
Reynolds had served a complaint in Minnesota court seeking relief due to the stop and emotional distress suffered during and after it, according to a resolution from the city of St. Anthony.
The agreement announced Tuesday was reached between Reynolds and St. Anthony as well as the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust on behalf of Roseville, another city in the region. After the shooting, Reynolds and her daughter were held by the Roseville police, authorities said.
Under the terms announced Tuesday, St. Anthony will pay $675,000 toward the settlement, while Roseville and the insurance trust will pay $125,000. When it is approved, part of the settlement will be put into a trust for Reynolds’s daughter “and her future educational needs,” the city of St. Anthony said in a statement.
Another video from the shooting’s aftermath, apparently recorded inside a police car, showed Reynolds, handcuffed, held inside the car along with her daughter.
When the 4-year-old began crying, Reynolds tried to console her. Later, when a frustrated Reynolds yelled while having an issue with her phone, the 4-year-old tried to console her.
“Mom, please stop saying cuss words and screaming ’cause I don’t want you to get shooted,” the young girl said. Reynolds gave her a kiss, and the 4-year-old added: “I could keep you safe.”
City officials said the settlement does not assume guilt by anyone involved. In a statement released to media outlets, Reynolds said the settlement shows that what happened to her and her daughter “was wrong” and that while it would not erase the pain they feel, she hopes it allows them “to get our lives back and move forward.”
This agreement “resolves all civil litigation” stemming from Castile’s death and its aftermath “and opens the door to continued healing within our community,” Jerry Faust, the mayor of St. Anthony, said in the statement.
Earlier this year, Castile’s relatives reached a settlement of nearly $3 million with the city. Not long after, Yanez agreed to a “voluntary separation agreement,” leaving his police department with a payment of $48,500 as well as a payout for unused personal leave.