ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A group of demonstrators walked in front of cars in a busy Orange County intersection Friday afternoon calling for the Sheriff’s Office to release body camera video from the deputy who fatally shot a 22-year-old in the back last week.
Salaythis Melvin, 22, was shot Aug. 7 while deputies were attempting to approach a group of people outside Florida Mall because one of the men was wanted in connection with a triple shooting in Pine Hills, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Melvin died of his injuries on Saturday.
Melvin ran away and toward a deputy, who got out of his unmarked vehicle and saw Melvin holding a stolen Glock handgun, records show.
The deputy drew his firearm and told Melvin to drop his gun but Melvin instead ran, according to the affidavit.
The report reads: Agent Montiel fired his firearm striking Melvin in the back believing Melvin was going to pull his gun and try to kill Agent Montiel.
Melvin’s family and friends have demanded answers and asked the Sheriff’s Office to release video from the deputy’s body camera.
On Friday, protesters on Orange Blossom Trail carried signs and wore T-shirts with Melvin’s photo demanding the video to be released.
The demonstration shut down traffic at the intersection of Orange Blossom Trail and Sand Lake Road. Vehicles were diverted around the area Friday evening. They also went inside the Florida Mall.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the deputy-involved shooting.
In a statement on Friday, the OCSO said that the FDLE has asked that the agency not release the body-worn camera footage.
According to officials, the footage is not being released to protect the integrity of the investigation.
“We are aware that there is intense public interest in this case,” the social post said. “Sheriff John Mina is committed to being open and transparent with our community.”
The shooting comes after months of protests and calls for change to law enforcement use of force standards in reaction to the death of George Floyd, a black man killed in May by Minneapolis police officers.
Attorneys representing Melvin’s mother met with the undersheriff on Monday asking to see the video, however, they were told to file a public records request.