ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Recently released body camera footage of a fatal police shooting outside a mall in Florida has the family of Salaythis Melvin demanding answers.
Orange County Deputy James Montiel claims he shot Melvin after the 22-year-old turned his head towards him with his hand on a gun in his waistband. This cant be seen clearly in the body camera footage because Montiel wasn’t wearing a body camera. The video of the shooting came from another officer who was positioned away from the shooting.
According to a spokesperson from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Montiel has been assigned to the Juvenile Arrest and Monitor (JAM) unit since February 2019, and is not issued a camera. He is currently on administrative leave with pay.
In the video shot from a responding deputy’s camera Melvin can be seen running full speed away from Deputy Montiel when he is shot in the back.
“It’s clear that Salaythis Melvin was not a threat. It’s clear that he was running, he was just trying to get away,” Attorney Brad Lauren said.
After Melvin is shot, deputies can be seen standing around him with their guns drawn, shouting expletives at him and demanding that he keep his hands up. Nearly two minutes go by before a deputy rolls Melvin over and they attempt to find medical supplies to administer aid. When a deputy finds a pulse, another suggests they don’t need to perform CPR.
About five minutes into the video, the attorneys for Melvin question whether he was called a racial slur, as he was on the ground. ” We hope to get it to an expert and try to have them get rid of some of the background noise,” Carlus Haynes said.
The sheriff’s office issued a statement saying it was aware of the allegations that a deputy may have made inappropriate comments in the body camera video and the department has launched an inquiry into the allegations.
Sheriff John Mina initially refused to release the video of the shooting, citing the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation into the shooting, however, public protests and pressure from the family forced the release.
As of yet, the department has not responded to public records requests related to the deputy involved, or answered specific questions about the circumstances surrounding the shooting and what’s seen in the video from the deadly incident.
Mina briefly addressed it when asked during a virtual news conference after he won the primary election.
“Our state attorney will make a determination, and when it’s all said and done, we will get it back to see if any policies are violated. So again, it’s their investigation, and I’m going to leave it at that,” Mina said.
The family plans to file a lawsuit in his case as soon as more evidence can be gathered.
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Recently released body camera footage of a fatal police shooting outside a mall in Florida has the family of Salaythis Melvin demanding answers.More info –Posted by Black Junction on Thursday, August 20, 2020