(KMSP) - Diamond Reynolds's lawyer is reacting to the recent controversial tweets by a Rice County Sheriff's deputy, calling them "defamatory" and "racist".
Tuesday, the St. Anthony City Council voted to give Reynolds $675,000 as part of a total $800,000 settlement for the fatal officer-involved shooting of her boyfriend, Philando Castile. Reynolds and her young daughter were in the car at the time of the shooting. Reynolds later live-streamed the aftermath on Facebook.
Hours after the City Council made their decision, Rice County Sheriff's Deputy Tom McBroom posted his opinions on the settlement. He tweeted "She'll have that spent in 6 months on crack cocaine...I hope she loses all her state and county aid now she has this cash." Fox 9 reached out to McBroom in response to his comments, but he has not responded yet.
Reynolds' lawyer Michael Padden responded to the tweets in a statement to news media on Friday.
"It is sad and disturbing that a member of law enforcement not only has these thoughts, but then articulates them on social media for the whole world to see," said Padden.
He says Reynolds has never used the drug and called the comments "racist".
"One then has to reasonably wonder: how did Sgt. McBroom come up with this?" he said. "Is it solely due to the fact that Ms. Reynolds is African American?"
Padden says Reynolds is "contemplating" legal action.
Full statement from Attorney Michael Padden:
"Yesterday, we, as lawyers for Diamond Reynolds, became aware of social media comments of a member of the Rice County Sheriff's Department concerning Ms. Reynolds' settlement with the City of St. Anthony.
"It is sad and disturbing that a member of law enforcement not only has these thoughts, but then articulates them on social media for the whole world to see. His comments have been publicized by numerous media outlets not only locally, but nationwide.
"In addition, his comments are false and therefore defamatory and also, we reasonably believe, racist. For example, he claimed that Ms. Reynolds would spend all of her settlement money on "crack cocaine."
"Ms. Reynolds has never used crack cocaine nor does she have any convictions her entire life for any drug related offenses. One then has to reasonably wonder: how did Sgt. McBroom come up with this? Is it solely due to the fact that Ms. Reynolds is African American?
"He made additional comments in response to questions from Susan Du of City Pages that could only be characterized as shocking.
"Ms. Reynolds is contemplating her legal options against Sgt. McBroom and the Rice County Sheriff's Department."