(CNN)Videos of police shooting and killing black men have transfixed Americans, relaunched debate on police overreach and sparked protests and riots in recent years.
However, two recent videos — showing Keith Lamont Scott and Philando Castile, both killed by police– are particularly noteworthy for being captured by women, who despite their fear of the situation unfolding, maintained their composure and documented the incidents for authorities and the public.
In both cases, the women said they were motivated by justice.
Keith Lamont Scott shooting
A St. Anthony police officer pulled Diamond Reynolds and fianc Philando Castile over in a routine traffic stop on July 6 in Falcon Heights, Minnesota.
Upon approaching the vehicle, Castile, 32, informed the officer that he had a permit to carry a weapon, according to Reynolds’ account. The officer asked for Castile’s license and registration and “as he was reaching for his ID in his back pocket,” the officer shot Castile multiple times, she said.
What Reynolds did next seems counterintuitive. Instead of screaming in anger, crying in sorrow or comforting her four-year-old daughter Dae’Anna, who witnessed the ordeal from the backseat, she pulled out her cellphone and began live-streaming the events on Facebook
In the video, Reynolds is clearly concerned for Castile, but remains calm as she follows Officer Jeronimo Yanez’s orders and updates viewers on what led up to the incident.
“The officer just shot him in his arm. … He just shot his arm off,” she says matter-of-factly.
Actually, it’s Yanez who appears to lose his cool.
“I told him not to reach for it! I told him to get his hand off it!” the officer shouts in panic. Later, he’s heard shouting expletives.
“You told him to get his ID sir, his driver’s license,” Reynolds responds calmly. “Oh my god, please don’t tell me he’s dead. Please don’t tell me my boyfriend just went like that.”
Even after another officer orders Reynolds out of the car and instructs her to kneel, she remains cool.
“They threw my phone, Facebook,” she tells viewers as it lies upward, recording the blue sky.
Reunited with her phone later in the back of a police cruiser, she summarizes the incident — going so far as to point out the offending officer’s appearance and the number of bullets fired. She even attempts to coordinate transportation for her and her daughter.
“Whoever can come to Larpenteur and Fry, that’s where I’m at. I’m gonna need a ride home,” she says.
When Reynolds finally screams in agony, her daughter comes to her comfort: “It’s okay, I’m right here with you.”
‘I want justice’
In both cases, viewers of the videos commented on how unnaturally calm Rakeyia Scott and Diamond Reynolds were in the midst of the deadly situations.
The women, however, are clear about their motivations, saying they wanted to expose police overreach and hold officers accountable.
“We want the public to take a look at this tape and see what was in the video before he was shot, and what was there afterward, and ask how it got there,” Eduardo Curry, an attorney for the Scott family, said about Rakeyia Scott’s decision to release the video and the debate over whether her husband was carrying a gun or book.
Reynolds made a similar statement in July. “I wanted it to go viral so the people could see” what happened, she said, explaining why she live-streamed the death of Castile. “I wanted everybody in the world to see what the police do.”
“I want justice,” she added.
Both shootings are under investigation.