Korryn Gaines: Video by mother killed during stand-off with police shows son saying ‘they trying to kill us’

Facebook granted emergency police request to have black woman’s profile shut down during impasse

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The Independent US

A mother who was involved in an armed stand-off with Maryland police had been posting live videos to social media before she was shot dead in a raid which also saw her five-year-old son wounded.

Korryn Gaines, 23, barricaded herself in her apartment for five hours and allegedly pointed a shotgun at officers who were trying to arrest her over a missed court appearance.

Videos posted to Facebook and Instagram showed Ms Gaines talking to armed police stood in the doorway to her home, as well as to her son.

And it has now emerged that Facebook granted an emergency request from police to have Ms Gaines’ profile shut down during the stand-off, amid fears public comments on her videos could undermine negotiators’ efforts.

In one of the videos posted on her Instagram, police can be heard asking Gaines a question about a phone, to which she replies “it’s charging.” She points the camera to her 5-year-old son and asks him what the police are trying to do.

“They trying to kill us,” her son says.

“Do you want to go out there?” she asks later.

“No,” he says.

Police Chief Jim Johnson said the department made the emergency request to have Gaines' social media accounts suspended after she posted videos online showing the stand-off.

He said people who saw the postings responded by encouraging her to not to comply with police.

The stand-off on Monday began after three officers went to Gaines' home to serve arrest warrants on her and her boyfriend, Kareem Courtney, 39, according to police.

He left the flat with a one-year-old boy before the stand-off and was arrested.

Gaines' warrant stemmed from charges during a March 10 traffic stop, including disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Police said she was armed with a 12-gauge pistol grip shotgun that was legally purchased last year and towards the end of the negotiations pointed it directly at an officer and said: "If you don't leave, I'm going to kill you."

An officer shot at her and Gaines fired two shots, but missed the officers, who returned fire and killed her, police said.

Gaines also posted videos from the March traffic stop on her Instagram account.

Police said she was pulled over because instead of a number plate, she had a cardboard tag that said: "Any government official who compromises this pursuit of happiness and right to travel will be held criminally responsible and fined, as this is a natural right and freedom."

During the stop, she said officers were trying to "steal her car and they would have to "murder" her to get her out of the vehicle, according to court documents.

Officers said she had to be pulled from the car and repeatedly yelled "record this" as a crowd of people gathered while police were arresting her.

Facebook has restored Gaines' social media pages, but two videos that violated its standards have been blocked from public view.

According to the tech company's policies, requests from law enforcement to suspend accounts may be granted in cases where there is a substantial risk of harm.

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