Diamond Reynolds, the girlfriend of Philando Castile, became the target of investigators after officer Jeronimo Yanez shot and killed her boyfriend. It has been revealed that plans to obtain Reynolds’ Facebook and phone records were underway but without her knowledge.
On July 7th, 2016, just one day after Diamond Reynolds streamed video of a police officer shooting and killing her boyfriend, Philando Castile, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension began working to obtain records from Reynolds’s phone. The BCA, which was in charge of investigating Castile’s death, submitted a preservation request to Facebook for Reynolds’ accounts, and obtained a search warrant one day later. The BCA also served a search warrant on Sprint for Reynold’s cell phone records.
BCA took things one step further—they ordered Facebook and Sprint not to tell Reynolds that investigators intended to rifle through her accounts.
Facebook opposed the gag order and, after weeks of discussion between the BCA and a lawyer at Facebook, the warrant was rescinded altogether. Sprint, however, complied with the warrant, and turned over Reynolds’ call records, voicemails, and cell tower information that revealed her location.
Journalist Tony Webster obtained the warrant applications and correspondence via a Freedom of Information Act request and shared the details exclusively with Gizmodo. While requests of this sort are typically made after similar incidents, all parties are usually made aware of the investigation.
The entire piece can be read by following this link.