On Wednesday, Diamond Reynolds posted live footage of the shooting of the 32-year-old Castile, her boyfriend, to Facebook, where it quickly went viral before disappearing. The video of Castile, in addition to the video of the shooting of Alton Sterling, have continued to highlight the problem of police brutality against black men. Though Facebook restored the video and blamed its disappearance on a glitch, sources now tell The Register that it disappeared because someone, possibly city police, seized Reynolds’ phone and used it to remove the video from her Facebook account.
Reynolds had said in a press conference that the police took her phone after arresting her. If true, the actions could constitute tampering with evidence. (Facebook and a spokesperson for police in Falcon Heights, the area where Castile was shot, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)
Mark Zuckerberg had posted about the video, calling it important though “graphic and heartbreaking.” In a statement to Gizmodo yesterday, Facebook was adamant that the video’s disappearance had nothing to do with its content moderation team, which had previously been criticized for bad judgment in removing a meme related to Stanford rapist Brock Turner. Though vague about the exact nature of the glitch, the company placed the blame squarely on technology out of their—or anyone’s—hands, and if that’s not true, a new conversation about transparency may be about to happen.