We’ve seen cellphone videos of the police killings of Eric Garner, Walter Scott, and too many others. Earlier this week, the fatal police shooting of Louisiana man Alton Sterling was captured from two angles. Such imagery not only informs people about specific events, but also gives news organizations fodder to more aggressively challenge systemic issues of police tactics and law enforcement internal accountability measures.
But just one day after Sterling’s chilling death, a new variety emerged in the increasingly familiar genre. Past videos allowed viewers to see uncut incidents of alleged brutality after the fact. Diamond Reynolds’s Facebook Live video Wednesday night, captured just seconds after her boyfriend Philando Castile was mortally wounded by a cop during a traffic stop, did so in real-time. Even more striking was her measured narration of the bloody scene: Reynolds became a broadcaster.