Diamond Reynolds, who was front and center sitting beside her boyfriend Philando Castile when he was shot and killed by a cop in 2016, is suing the Elysian, Minn. Mayor for a tweet she says attacked her character.
According to the suit, Tom McBroom, a former Rice County sheriff’s deputy, launched a callous tweet back in 2017 aimed at Reynolds, saying that “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,” The Star-Tribune reports.
Reynolds, who is Black, live-streamed the aftermath of Castile’s shooting death and received $800,000 in settlements. McBroom is white and was elected to mayor in 2018.
“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,” the suit said.
According to the suit, McBroom’s comments are “defamatory, false and racially motivated.”
When McBroom was previously asked why he assumed that Reynolds, who did not have a history of drugs, was a crack user, he replied, “History,” according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
McBroom has since tried to defend himself by claiming that his words were being misinterpreted, saying that he meant that he had seen a “history” of people blowing the money they got in settlements, according to City Pages.
McBroom was under fire and ultimately demoted for “misconduct” according to the outlet.
“His comments were not the beliefs of our agency, and we’re trying to move forward in a positive manner,” Sheriff Troy Dunn said. “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.”
The suit contends that Reynolds is suffering from “pain, emotional distress and damage to her reputation.”
“The conduct of the Defendant delineated herein was intentional and constitutes intentional inflection of emotional distress …,” the suit said.
She is seeking $50,000 in damages and attorney’s fees.