Salaythis Melvin was killed outside an Orange County, Florida shopping mall on August 7 according to an ABCNews report. Melvin was shot in the back while fleeing from officers who had stopped him and three others because one of them, not Melvin, was wanted in connection with a triple shooting. When Salaythis fled the scene of the stop a plainclothes undercover officer named Orange County Sheriff’s Office Agent James Montiel opened fire and stuck him once in the back.
Let Montiel tell it, he witnessed a sprinting Salaythis put his hand onto a Glock pistol on his waist and was turning around to face him. Montiel wasn’t wearing a body camera but another responding officer caught the shooting on his patrol car’s dash camera. It CLEARLY shows Melvin running full-speed away from Montiel and gets what appears to be at LEAST 25 yards away before he falls to the ground with a bullet in the back. He would die later at the hospital.
The newly-released 10-minute video is below. We will warn you that everything after the :39 mark is very graphic and can be very disturbing. However, if you do watch the entire thing, you hear one of the deputies call Salaythis Melvin a racist slur while he is bleeding out on the ground.
Now the family of Salaythis Melvin have hired attorneys to file a civil lawsuit against the sheriff and the entire department for wrongful death. They are demanding that Orange County Sheriff John Mina make rapid changes to the department’s unnecessary use of force policy.
Bradley Laurent, the family’s lawyer said that Melvin did not harm the officers in any way prior to the shooting.
“When you look at the video, he was in a full sprint. He posed no threat to anyone,” he told ABC News.
Mina addressed the shooting and body camera videos Tuesday night after he won his reelection seat.
“We want to let [the FDLE] handle their investigation, but because of the public interest in this case, we made a decision in this agency that we would release body cam video”.
Mina further explained that when the investigation is complete, the department will turnover their findings to the Florida Attorney General’s Office.