Diamond Reynolds was begging her boyfriend, Philando Castile, after a police officer fatally shot him following a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, last night.

But the desperate request also applied to the nearly 3 million people who eventually tuned in to Reynolds Facebook Live stream of the moments after ordeal.

Victims of police shootings have no authorities to call, no higher-ups to summon.

In recent years, social media has changed that dynamic, giving bystanders a way to document these all-too-frequent acts of violence.

It s what happened in the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Walter Scott in Charleston, South Carolina.

Just this week, it s what happened in the case of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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