Facebook Apologizes For Deleting Video of Racist Attack in Downtown Reno

Elijah Ahmad Lewis, who posted a video of being attacked physically and with racial slurs by a woman in downtown Reno on Tuesday, said today that Facebook deleted the video.

The video went viral locally and suddenly disappeared. Lewis reposted the video on YouTube, posted below.

Facebook said that the deletion was a mistake.

“We’re very sorry about this mistake,” said a Facebook spokesperson. “The video was removed in error and has been restored. Our team processes millions of reports each week, and we sometimes get things wrong.”

The Reno Police Department is seeking more information about the encounter between this unidentified woman and an actor with Motown the Musical.

A ThisisReno reader told us he just shared a screen grab of the video, which he said was also deleted.

The company has been criticized for deleting content without notice, even with content that has been deemed public and of historical record, such as the Vietnam War-era photo of the famous “Napalm Girl” photo.

RPD Refers Case to City Attorney

While many on social media have outed what is believed to be the woman in the video, the Reno Police Department (RPD) today declined to identify her and instead posted that the case has been referred to the City Attorney’s office.

RPD’s PIO did not return a call for comment.

RPD’s statement:

On January 24, 2017, the Reno Police Department received a report of a possible battery during which an unknown female suspect directed several racial slurs at a Black male victim. Shortly after this alleged battery, the victim began to video record the suspect on his cell phone. This video footage was provided to the Reno Police Department and later posted on Facebook by the victim. The footage depicts the female making derogatory comments to the victim as well as a physical altercation in which, according to the victim, the female suspect attempted to knock the cell phone from the victim’s hand.

The subsequent investigation included several tips from the public which assisted in identifying the suspect as a Reno resident. She was contacted by investigators and provided a statement. The case will be forwarded to the Reno City Attorney’s Office. The Reno Police Department would like to thank the public and the media for their assistance and encourage anybody with additional information regarding the incident to contact the Reno Police Department or Secret Witness reference Case Number 17-1600. Thank You!

Facebook Apologizes For Deleting Video of Racist Attack in Downtown Reno, RPD Forwards Case to City AttorneyClick To Tweet

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About Bob Conrad 788 Articles
Bob Conrad is proprietor and co-founder of ThisisReno. He manages ThisisReno and Conrad Communications, LLC, his marketing communications consulting company (disclosure: client work includes projects funded by grants through UNR) and is an adjunct faculty member at Truckee Meadows Community College. He is a contributor to Reno Public Radio.

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